Gilbert Brule is a Good Player and a Good Guy

From a blog called "Hey Edmonton!" (hey, Hey Edmonton!) comes an update on Gilbert Brule. No, nothing contract-related. Quite the contrary, it's not about how much money Brule is making but how much he's giving away.

You may recall back in May that Brule received positive press for donating $10,000 to an Edmontonian infant named Maddox Flynn, a two-year-old boy who needed surgery in New York to address a condition known as "lymphatic cystic hydroma". A lymphatic cystic hydroma isn't the sort of condition you'll see in the newspapers too often: basically, they're small, soft, benign tumours that predominantly appear on the face and neck, crop up during pregnancy because of a blockage in the foetus's lymphatic system, and are disfiguring but rarely life-threatening. In Maddox's case it led to worse than merely being disfigured: the lumps dominated the left side of his face and were so severe they impaired with breathing, with eating, with speaking, even with his sight. The two surgeries required, both expensive and experimental, would run about $100,000. Additional funds would be required for any follow-up surgeries for cosmetic purposes or in case of complications. A fundraising effort wound up with $160,000, and Brule was a big part both of donating the money and in getting the case into the press so the rest would come.

Flynn completed his first surgery in May, and his second will follow next week. There are always complications in this sort of thing but the first surgery went well and all concerned seem to be optimistic. Certainly, Brule has already done his good deed for 2010. Saving a youngster's life isn't the sort of good deed many of us can match. But apparently he isn't satisfied and will be flying to New York to visit the young patient before he goes under the knife for the second time. Brule and his girlfriend fly out today.

Listen. I'm a cynical so-and-so, you all know that. So take it for what it's worth when I say that I feel a swelling in my heart towards Gilbert Brule that just might be pride.

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