Everybody take a deep, cleansing breath. Pull in the air until you can’t pull in any more. Now let it out slowly. Feel that? That’s relief. That’s the wonderful, overwhelming sensation that comes with knowing that Jonathan Toews is OK. That he is not in the grips of a debilitating disease that will cost him his life.
The Blackhawks captain, the team’s beating heart, released a video Wednesday morning and put a name to the illness that kept him off the ice last season and us in the dark: Chronic Immune Response Syndrome (CIRS). It’s a condition associated with exposure to biotoxins, such as mold. Most people’s bodies can process biotoxins. Those with CIRS can’t, causing immune-system dysfunction.
“There’s a lot of things that piled up, where my body just fell apart,” Toews said in the video, which he put on Twitter. “… I just couldn’t quite recover, and my immune system was reacting to everything that I did — any kind of stress, anything that I would do throughout the day, there was always that stress response.
“I took some time, and that was the frustrating part — not really knowing when or how we were going to get over the hump. But thankfully I’ve got a great support team of people that helped me through it, and [I] learned a lot about the stress I put on my body over the years.’’
Toews has started skating at the…