Brendan Gallagher of the Montreal Canadiens
Photo credit: CTV News Montreal

Brendan Gallagher Opens Up About His Mental Health Following His Mother's Cancer Diagnosis

Published March 16, 2024 at 1:27 PM

If there's anything Brendan Gallagher of the Montreal Canadiens is known for, it's never backing down. He's the type of player that will gladly put himself in harm's way for the benefit of his team, whether it's plunking himself in front of the opposing goaltender's net to help his team score while he takes constant abuse from the goalie's teammates, to standing up for those also wearing his team colours. But even for the most tenacious people, there are incidents in life that can make you question your own strength. Gallagher has opened up on going through one of those.

Gallagher Spills on the Impact of his Mother's Health on his Own

In 2021, Gallagher's mother Della was diagnosed with a type of brain cancer. Since then, she has gone through a tough battle, that has included time in hospital. Gallagher admits it's been tough.

"I've struggled with it at times. Especially the first year, there were some tough times.

"I think having (fiancée) Emma at home is huge for me, being able to talk to her. Especially being away from the family — you call back as much as you can, but it's been tough."


Gallagher Says He's Getting Plenty of Support as Mother Battles Cancer

In addition to his fiancée and the support from other members of the family, Gallagher said the medical staff taking care of his mother have been nothing less than excellent.

"We had a lot of incredible people reach out with information. I think they're doing an incredible job. They have things that are hopefully able to get out to everyone (in Canada eventually). They have trial drugs from clinical trials, and they have stuff they've been working on that's gotten to a point where it's going okay for her. You don't want to get too ahead of yourselves, but I think they're doing a fantastic job. We just continue to listen to the advice they've given us and hope for the best.

While missing the 2024 Stanley Cup playoffs is likely a big disappointment for Gallagher, it does give him more time to spend with someone who means so much to him. A bit of a blessing in disguise. But, like his mother Della, Gallagher is a warrior, and won't let much distract him from what's going on on the ice.

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