Ottawa Senators assistant coach Bob Jones has been diagnosed with ALS, the team announced on Tuesday, Jan. 24.
“A devoted member of our family, Bob Jones, has been diagnosed with ALS,” Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said in a statement. “Bob and his family’s wishes are to take the courageous step of making his condition public in an effort to drive ALS awareness as he fights this disease.
“We have been working internally with Bob and his family as he takes on this challenge; while Bob will continue with his coaching duties, he has the full support of the organization to take any time he needs away from the club during the season to concentrate on his health and his family.”
Jones, 53, is in his fourth season as an assistant coach with the Senators. He was named to head coach D.J. Smith’s staff on July 5, 2019. A former Soo Greyhound defenceman, he coached in the American Hockey League and the Ontario Hockey League, culminating in the latter with a head-coaching position with the Oshawa Generals.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (also known as ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, or motor neuron disease), according to ALS.ca, "is a disease that gradually paralyzes people because the brain is no longer able to communicate with the muscles of the body that we are typically able to move at will. Over time, as the muscles of the body break down, someone living with ALS will lose the ability to walk, talk, eat, swallow, and eventually breathe.
"ALS is not contagious. There is no cure for ALS and few treatment options for the majority of people living with the disease."