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Calgary Flames assistant general manager Chris Snow has been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, his wife said Wednesday in a letter published on the NHL team’s website.

Snow was promoted to assistant GM this year from director of hockey analysis.

The 38-year-old from Melrose, Mass., joined the Flames in 2011 after five years working for the Minnesota Wild as director of hockey operations.

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Snow’s father, two uncles and a 28-year-old cousin have died of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, Kelsie Snow said in the letter.

ALS is a disease that gradually paralyzes people because the brain is no longer able to communicate with the muscles of the body, according to ALS Canada.

There is currently no cure for the disease. Approximately 80 per cent of people with ALS die within two to five years of diagnosis, ALS Canada says.

Snow has been enrolled in a clinical trial for a gene therapy treatment developed by the University of Miami for several months.

“The drug targets a specific genetic mutation that has devastated Chris’ family,” Kelsie wrote.

“Someone has to be the first person to live with ALS rather than die from it, and one thing I’ve always known about Chris is that he finds a way.

“No matter the obstacle, no matter how unprecedented the situation may be – he always, always finds a way.”

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Snow is a former sports journalist who worked as an NHL and Major League Baseball beat writer in Minneapolis and Boston respectively before embarking on a career in team management.

Kelsie, also a journalist, covered MLB and other professional sports in the United States. The couple have two children.

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