Tyler McGregor, sledge hockey

Tyler McGregor, left, grew up playing able-bodied hockey but switched to sledge after having his left leg amputated due to cancer. (Courtesy of Canadian Paralympic Committee)

The youngest member of Canada’s gold medal winning team at the 2013 IPC World Championships, Tyler McGregor is on the fast track to success in the sport.

In 2009, as an able-bodied ice hockey player at the AAA level, the 16-year-old McGregor broke his ankle and both bones in his leg, requiring a rod and six pins in his leg. As the leg healed and he returned to playing ice hockey, a large lump developed on the site of the original fracture. At first doctors ruled out anything serious, and he continued playing hockey. But the lump grew larger, and the pain intensified, leading to additional tests and the eventual diagnosis of Spindle Cell Sarcoma, a form of soft tissue cancer, in January 2010. He underwent eight months of chemotherapy and the amputation of his left leg.

McGregor, now 20, realized quickly that he wanted to get back into hockey and started playing again with a standing amputee team. He switched to sledge hockey in 2011 and his determination has led him to the national team.

He made his national team debut at age 18 at the 2012 World Sledge Hockey Challenge in Calgary, earning a goal and two assists as Canada won the silver medal. Less than a year later he helped Canada to gold at the IPC World Championship and capped 2013 with a victory at the World Sledge Hockey Challenge in Toronto.

He lives in Forest, Ont.

Courtesy of the Canadian Paralympic Committee