The Watertown Wolves are raising money for former player Michael Desjarlais, who is battling inoperable brain cancer, according to a Wolves Facebook post Thursday.
Desjarlais, who is from Bonnyville, Alberta, Canada, played with his brother, Dallas, during the 2019-20 season and was with the team during the aborted 2020-21 season.
The 6-foot forward supplied 12 goals and 20 assists in 35 games with Watertown in 2019-20, helping the Wolves to third place in the Eastern Division before the COVID-19 pandemic halted the season.
Desjarlais, who turns 30 on Tuesday, began to suffer seizures two months ago and a tumor was found on his brain June 13, requiring surgery, according to a Go FundMe page set up for him and his family.
A comment by page organizer Brooklyn Kraft made Monday said that Desjarlais was diagnosed with grade 3 anaplastic oligodendroglioma after surgery July 5 in which most of the tumor was removed and tested. He returned home July 30 and continues to recover, undergoing radiation and taking medication.
Desjarlais’ partner, Kaila, gave birth to a girl, Blair, on June 8. Desjarlais has two other daughters and two step-daughters.
“With Mike and his partner Kaila welcoming their newest addition to the family ... they’re now having to face the hardship of supporting their family of 5 on a maternity leave income,” Kraft’s comment said. “Because the end of this journey is not yet on the horizon, there are still hurdles to pass and we would once again be so grateful for your continued prayers, shares and donations to help the family continue to focus on Mike and his recovery.”
The GoFundMe page (https://www.gofundme.com/f/pu96z-mikes-road-to-recovery) has raised $7,405 of the $10,000 goal as of Thursday night.
The Watertown Wolves are selling “Michael Desjarlais Strong” T-shirts for $20 apiece with proceeds going to the Desjarlais family.
Shirts can be ordered by calling 315-926-9189 or emailing email@example.com.