SF hockey player hopes to score a new goal as living donor

GoFundMe Chris and Conner Craig
(Left) Chris Craig and (Right) Conner Craig. Photo credit: https://www.gofundme.com/f/supporting-chriss-journey-to-a-new-liver
Posted on: January 12, 2023

Chris Craig has been suffering from a rare liver disease since he was a teenager. 

This year, his own teenager is hoping to save his life.

Due to Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, a rare chronic liver disease, Chris’ liver has been deteriorating over his lifetime. It began to fail rapidly this past year and he is currently in liver failure. On December 23 the family received word that Chris is now on the liver transplant list as his survival depends on it.

Connor Craig, Chris’ 19 year old son, plays hockey with the Smiths Falls Junior Bears. He has put his hockey journey on hold in order to undergo the rigorous process of becoming a living donor for his dad.

The first step in the living-donor process is ensuring that the donor and recipient are a blood-type match. Bobbi-Jo McGrath Craig, Chris’ wife and Connor’s mother, says that this was successfully completed; now she is taking Connor to Toronto for a barrage of other tests, including an MRI, CT scan, blood work, and x-rays. On top of that, Connor will meet with surgeons, social workers, and psychologists, to ensure he is suitable for this procedure in every possible way. 

Should this process go well, or should a liver become available from the transplant list, the surgery will take place in Toronto. Chris and Connor will be hospitalized for several weeks, and Chris will be required to travel back and forth to Toronto for several months for medical monitoring and follow-up care. The expenses related to travel, accommodation, and lost income will be high. Chris’s sister Sarah has created an online fundraiser via the online platform Go Fund Me, and members of the community have been reaching out and stepping up as well.

Bobbi-Jo says that she is so grateful for the compassion and help the family has received. “I cannot express how thankful we are for all the support we’ve had from our friends and family, but also from the community. There have been small fundraisers popping up, and a Go Fund Me. There’s no way we could afford to do this apart from the support we’ve had.”

In the photo posted on the Go Fund Me page, Connor’s arm is tight around his dad’s shoulders. Chris’ face is yellow, a tell-tale sign of liver failure, and Connor’s face is determined; it’s clear to see his eye is on the goal. 

The Craigs are standing together, and Smiths Falls is standing with them.

If you are interested in helping the Craig family in their fight for Chris’s life, donations can be made at Chris’s Journey To A New Liver GoFundMe page https://www.gofundme.com/f/supporting-chriss-journey-to-a-new-liver #doit4craiger

Article by Janelle Labelle