'Help us help our coach': Vancouver peewee hockey team makes heartfelt plea
Young hockey players in Vancouver are turning to the power of social media to help their beloved coach find a living kidney donor.
The players of Vancouver Minor Hockey Association's Peewee A2 team, the Spirit, spent the holidays fundraising to help families in need in their communities and it inspired them to want to help "someone special" in their life.
They posted a one-minute video on their Instagram account, revealing their coach, Stephen Gillis, has Crohn's disease and found out last summer that he also has a rare form of kidney disease.
"Stephen is really sick but he doesn't let it show. He always comes to practices and games even when he isn't feeling well," one player said.
The video has gone viral since it was posted on Thursday, receiving more than 225,000 views.
Gillis said he's been stunned by the support.
"I am completely overwhelmed by the support and love I have received from my team, friends, family, and now thousands of strangers! It's amazing. I've been crying for days," he said.
The post said Gillis needs to find a compatible living donor to undergo a transplant operation.
"We know that this is a lot to ask, but we know that there might be people out there who are willing to help," another player said.
Anyone interested in getting tested to donate is asked to call a transplant coordinator at 1-855-875-5182.