Whe Detroit Red Wings legend Nicklas Lidstrom was a boy growing up in Vasteras, Sweden, when it came to hockey heroes, he only had eyes for Börje Salming.
“Börje Salming became my idol early on,” Lidstrom recalled. “Börje Salming was my big hero growing up.”
Today, one Swedish Hall of Fame defenseman is helping another as Lidstrom offers his support to Salming in the latter’s fight against ALS.
Seeking to be encouraging promotion of research into the deadly, incurable disease, creation of the Börje Salming ALS Foundation took place. Lidstrom is serving on the board of the foundation.
“I received a request about a month ago if I wanted to sit on the board and be involved, and I felt that was a matter of course,” Lidstrom told Swedish media site Expressen.se. “I am honored to be able to help Börje in some way and to help with this collection that we are going to do to stop this terrible disease.”
Lidstrom is frequently in touch with Salming and his with Pia as Börje goes through this terrible ordeal.
“It is emotionally difficult to see Börje in such a situation. And you also suffer with Pia who has to carry a big load, and with the rest of the family as well,” Lidstrom said. “So it was very emotional to talk to them.”
He’s preparing to do whatever he can to help Salming – as well as anyone else battling ALS – in the fight for their lives.
“It feels very good to be able to contribute with what I can contribute,” Lidstrom said. “Be able to support the family, but also contribute by doing something for ALS in general and see if the researchers can find a solution for this terrible disease.”
Heartbreaking Video Of Salming
The release of a video earlier this week was showing the impact the disease is taking on Salming. The disease, which he first revealed he was suffering from in August, in already claiming his ability to speak.
Lidstrom gives the Salmings all the respect in the world for opening a window to everyone to see how this illness is ravaging his body.
Toronto Maple Leafs legend Börje Salming's ALS has advanced to the point where he can no longer speak
He shared this message with fans
— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) October 18, 2022
“I think it is very important to address the situation that arises when a relative gets ALS,” Lidstrom said. “It doesn’t just affect that person, it’s the whole family that gets affected.
“So I think it was very strong of the family to come out and tell us how things are. In the video, you really get to see how Börje really feels and is, and Pia too. So I think it was very strong to do that.”