Canadian hockey hero Henderson has cancer

Canadian hockey hero Paul Henderson revealed he is battling cancer - a form of leukemia.

'I have no angst in my body, no fear whatsover,' former NHLer says

Canadian hockey hero Paul Henderson has revealed he is battling cancer.

Henderson was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia in November. He made his illness public on CBC-TV's Connect with Mark Kelley on Thursday.

"I have no angst in my body, no fear whatsover," Henderson told Kelley. "And I really believe that's because of my faith.

"I'm going to be aggressively taking a look at this for sure — the [cancer] I have doesn't respond well to early treatment, so we haven't done anything yet… but I'm going to be very aggressive in trying to arrest it."

About CLL

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, leukemia is a cancer of the blood-forming tissue, or the bone marrow. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia starts in the bone marrow where white blood cells are produced.

In CLL, too many mature white blood cells are produced. When the onset of the cancer is gradual, and the disease progresses slowly, it is called chronic leukemia. 

In 2005, there were 1,829 new cases of CLL in Canada. People in their 60s are most commonly affected by the disease.

Henderson, 67, from Lucknow, Ont., is most famous for scoring the series-clinching goal in Game 8 of the 1972 Summit Series between the Canadian and Soviet Union hockey teams.

The left-winger also scored the game-winning goals in Games 6 and 7 of the series, and was tied for most series goals with seven.

Henderson played 18 years in professional hockey, including 13 seasons in the NHL, splitting time between the Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings and Atlanta Flames.

It was late into his tenure with the Leafs, from 1967-74, that Henderson adopted the Christian faith as a way to cope with the stresses of playing hockey.

Now a motivational speaker, he is the author of two books, The Fans Go Wild and Shooting for Glory. He has also worked as a spokesman for the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.