Jake Dowell feels the loss, but he’s just glad his father is no longer suffering.
“Nobody should have to go through what he did,” the Iowa Wild captain said Wednesday, two days after the funeral for his 58-year-old father, John Dowell, who lost his excruciating battle with Huntington’s disease last week.
“This was almost a 13-year struggle that he was dealing with,” Jake Dowell said. “The last couple months were really hard to watch him deteriorate. In the end now, it’s nice to have some closure and know he’s not struggling anymore.”
Huntington’s disease is a neurological disorder that often for the course of a decade or more debilitates a person physically and cognitively until they die. Jake’s brother, Luke, 31, also has the disease and resides in the same 24-hour assisted-living house in Menomonie, Wis., that their father died in Feb. 13.
Jake Dowell was able to spend the final hours at his father’s side because of the American Hockey League All-Star break.
There is a 50-50 chance that Dowell, 28, a forward who has played 156 NHL games and was recalled by the Wild on Wednesday, has inherited the same gene. In the next year or two, Dowell plans to go with his wife, Carly, and mother, Vicki, to have a blood test and learn what his future holds.
“I don’t want to do something like that in the middle of season because it’s just too must pressure,” Dowell said. “It would be great to just know that I don’t have it. It’ll be something to look into more or less when my wife and I decide it’s time to have kids.”
The couple needs to know if Dowell has the gene because if he does, there’s a 50-50 chance their children would inherit it. If he has the gene, they can do in vitro fertilization and “literally take the gene out … and it’ll be out of my family for good,” Dowell said.
The disease is progressing with Jake’s brother.
“He’s still walking, but I don’t think for much longer because he’s just getting too clumsy, and he needs someone to help him [with everything],” Dowell said.
Over the past year John Dowell, a former college football player, got dementia, grew more and more frail, couldn’t take care of himself and had to live off a feeding tube.
“He was having such a hard time breathing in the end. It was hard on him,” Jake Dowell said. “He was a big deal to me. Everybody says that their dad’s their role model. He was there teaching me everything my first 15, 16 years, but the second half of my life he hasn’t been able to be around.
“But he taught me more by the way he handled this awful disease all those years he wasn’t able to be around than in the first half of my life. He was so strong.”
So is his mother.
“It’s just been endless nonstop people coming by and showing support,” Dowell said. “Her body’s kicking into autopilot. There’s a little bit of adrenaline that goes through you to get you by it. I think now that things are over and she’s by herself at home, things will sink in.
“But she’s had a lot to deal with for many years. She’ll be all right.”
Zucker still out
Winger Jason Zucker will miss next week’s road trip to Edmonton and Vancouver.
Zucker, who underwent what the team termed a “minor” leg procedure during the Olympic break, must stay off the ice another week, coach Mike Yeo said.
Zucker took part in Thursday’s off-ice workout with the team.
Defenseman Marco Scandella, who sprained an MCL in one of his knees Feb. 4, has been cleared to skate with strength and conditioning coach Kirk Olson and is expected to rejoin practice next week.
Koivu ‘not quite there’
Captain Mikko Koivu, working his way back from ankle surgery, was held out of most gamelike situations during Thursday’s practice.
“So obviously he’s not quite there yet,” Yeo said. “He looks strong and he’s skating well. Hopefully, the pain keeps decreasing for him and we get to a point where he feels comfortable enough to get into this game situation stuff.”
|New England||2/1/15 5:30 PM|
|Milwaukee||68||3rd Qtr 8:42|
|New York||56||3rd Qtr 7:22|
|Denver||11||2nd Qtr 12:00|
|Montreal||0||2nd Prd 9:38|
|Winnipeg||2||2nd Prd 8:08|
|Boston||2||2nd Prd 5:54|
|Nashville||0||1st Prd 8:30|
|Boston Univ||45||2nd Half 11:47|
|Fla Atlantic||37||2nd Half 10:55|
|Youngstown St||45||2nd Half 12:00|
|East Tenn St||44||2nd Half 8:46|
|Saint Louis||35||2nd Half 11:48|
|USC Upstate||57||2nd Half 12:46|
|High Point||52||2nd Half 9:18|
|Central Conn St||52||2nd Half 3:53|
|Western Ky||43||2nd Half 9:11|
|Dayton||48||2nd Half 7:05|
|Chattanooga||44||2nd Half 10:07|
|Wofford||46||2nd Half 8:30|
|Maryland||44||2nd Half 11:45|
|FIU||41||2nd Half 9:43|
|Fair-Dickinson||44||2nd Half 9:00|
|Mount St Marys||46||2nd Half 9:50|
|Bryant||52||2nd Half 9:03|
|Northern Ky||53||2nd Half 9:58|
|Coll of Charleston||41||2nd Half 7:46|
|Western Carolina||62||2nd Half 12:17|
|Sacred Heart||45||2nd Half 11:28|
|Lipscomb||40||2nd Half 10:23|
|Fla Gulf Coast||52|
|Kennesaw St||48||2nd Half 7:50|
|Appalachian St||16||2nd Half|
|Holy Cross||18||2nd Half|
|Eastern Ill||22||2nd Half|
|Jacksonville St||16||1st Half 7:57|
|Connecticut||14||1st Half 7:55|
|Rider||15||1st Half 8:30|
|SIU Edwardsville||22||1st Half 7:02|
|SE Missouri St||24|
|Marshall||24||1st Half 7:48|
|Tenn Tech||13||1st Half 8:39|
|Middle Tennessee||15||1st Half 10:29|
|Ill-Chicago||15||1st Half 8:23|
|Weber State||12||1st Half 8:36|
|Denver||13||1st Half 7:30|
|North Dakota St||13|
|IUPU-Ft Wayne||19||1st Half 7:01|
|Louisiana||25||1st Half 9:15|
|Georgia State||7:15 PM|
|Ark-Little Rock||7:30 PM|
|Eastern Ky||8:00 PM|
|Idaho State||8:00 PM|
|Chicago State||8:05 PM|
|Utah Valley U|
|Cal Poly||9:00 PM|
|Santa Clara||9:00 PM|
|UC Santa Barbara||9:00 PM|
|Montana State||9:05 PM|
|Long Beach State||9:30 PM|
|Cal State Fullerton|
|Loyola Marymount||9:30 PM|
|San Francisco||10:00 PM|
|(6) Tennessee||45||2nd Half 11:31|
|(24) Oklahoma||48||2nd Half 11:35|
|Nebraska Omaha||47||2nd Half 3:57|
|UC-Riverside||48||2nd Half 10:20|
|Army||53||2nd Half 7:21|
|New Orleans||33||2nd Half 5:16|
|Charlotte||32||2nd Half 18:49|
|Towson||41||2nd Half 4:03|
|Hofstra||43||2nd Half 11:56|
|New Hampshire||54||2nd Half 5:18|
|Albany||72||2nd Half 8:08|
|Hartford||51||2nd Half 8:27|
|UNC-Wilmington||51||2nd Half 4:07|
|William & Mary||60|
|Clemson||39||2nd Half 15:00|
|Alabama||40||2nd Half 11:32|
|(1) South Carolina||58|
|(23) Syracuse||43||2nd Half 10:21|
|Missouri||40||2nd Half 11:52|
|Iona||61||2nd Half 3:32|
|Manhattan||25||2nd Half 8:25|
|NC State||60||2nd Half 3:38|
|(4) Notre Dame||58||2nd Half 10:50|
|(22) Rutgers||44||2nd Half 9:39|
|(5) Maryland||68||2nd Half 9:14|
|Milwaukee||38||2nd Half 11:40|
|Wright State||84||2nd Half 9:36|
|Jacksonville||38||2nd Half 13:23|
|North Florida||36||2nd Half 5:32|
|Stetson||36||2nd Half 9:55|
|Loyola-Maryland||36||2nd Half 7:55|
|Sam Houston St||34|
|Fla Gulf Coast||31||2nd Half|
|Incarnate Word||7:00 PM|
|McNeese State||7:00 PM|
|Vanderbilt||11||1st Half 9:44|
|(18) Miss State||14|
|IUPUI||10||1st Half 7:23|
|Abilene Christian||20||1st Half 6:51|
|Oral Roberts||17||1st Half 7:10|
|South Dakota St||20|
|Louisiana Tech||15||1st Half 9:47|
|TX-San Antonio||13||1st Half 8:18|
|Texas-El Paso||19||1st Half 5:40|
|Auburn||10||1st Half 9:59|
|Grand Canyon||13||1st Half 9:19|
|Illinois||18||1st Half 10:07|
|(20) Iowa||29||1st Half 8:20|
|Utah Valley U||12||1st Half 11:55|
|Green Bay||24||1st Half 7:07|
|Ole Miss||8:00 PM|
|Portland State||8:00 PM|
|Sacramento St||8:00 PM|
|North Dakota||8:00 PM|
|Ohio State||8:00 PM|
|Northern Colorado||8:00 PM|
|St Marys-CA||9:00 PM|
|UC Santa Barbara|
|San Diego||9:00 PM|
|UC Davis||9:00 PM|
|Long Beach St||10:59 PM|
Poll: Which of these teams is the most frustrating to watch right now?