Blogs and Commentary

posted 06.26.2012 at 4.42 p.m. by Corey McLaughlin

Team Canada's Chris Sanderson Passes Away

Chris Sanderson, the goalie on Team Canada's 2006 FIL World Championship team, has battled cancer since 2008 and played in the 2010 World Championships.
© Kevin P. Tucker

updated 06.28.2012 at 10.14 a.m.

Chris Sanderson, the former Team Canada goalie who battled cancer since 2008, passed away at 2 a.m. Thursday morning, according to his family. He was 38.

Sanderson's wife, Brogann, posted the news online Thursday morning on the family's CaringBridge journal, saying Sanderson was "surrounded by family" when he passed.

In a gut-wrenching blog post on Monday titled "Time To Say Goodbye," Brogann, wrote, "It is impossible to predict how long Chris has to live, but I can tell you that he is deteriorating quickly and, as of [Sunday], refusing all food, water, and medication."

In 2010, Sanderson was named Lacrosse Magazine's Comeback Player of the Year for playing in net for Canada in the FIL World Championships that July -- earing All-World honors for the third time -- despite having a cancerous brain tumor removed from his frontal lobe in December 2008 and given a timetable of nine to 12 months to live.

Subsequent MRIs showed good news, but in November 2011 tests showed signs of a tumor returning and this March an MRI showed significant tumor growth. Sanderson's condition worsened and he underwent numerous surgeries, all of which is detailed in the family's CaringBridge blog.

Brogann wrote Monday that Sanderson had left a New Jersey hospital for her mother's house and Hospice has been arranged. The couple has two daughters.

Chris' brother, Mark, posted Tuesday afternoon a message about a fundraiser started to help the family off set costs since "a large portion of Chris and Brogann's family will be traveling long distances to support and say goodbye to Chris." More than $20,000 was raised through donations here.

Sanderson's younger brother, Ryan, one of several people to help Chris in his fight with cancer, passed away in his sleep in July 2011.

Chris Sanderson was the goalie on Canada's 2006 FIL World Championship team, played in two final fours with Virginia and played and coached in the National Lacrosse League, most recently an assistant with the Philadelphia Wings from 2005 to 2011.

"This is a very sad day for all Wings fans, Wings players, coaches, management and ownership," Wings co-owner and president Michael French said in a statement Thursday. "Chris' leadership, spirit and sense of humor were just some of his wonderful traits he possessed. As a fellow Canadian I am eternally grateful for all he did for our national team and our sport. On behalf of the Wings we pass on our deepest condolences to Brogann and Chris' two beautiful daughters and all of his extended family. May he rest in peace."