A Saskatchewan Roughrider legend is battling dementia and his wife is doing what she can to help with Rider Nation coming through.
Jack Abendschan, who played for the green-and-white in the 60’s and 70’s and was named to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2012, was diagnosed with dementia in 2008. The family and doctors believe years of hits and concussions have taken its toll on the 81-year-old. It is believed he is suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy. That is a degeneration of the brain that results from repeated head trauma. It is something that has affected numerous football players over the years, but it can only be confirmed during a post-mortem. As it stands right now, he has no short-term retention.
His 79-year-old wife Marjorie says the costs for Jack who is an Abilene, Texas facility receiving around-the-clock attention run at about $4,000 (US) per month which is something she is having a tough time with, Marjorie says she has cut what expenses she can and she is considering selling the home her and Jack live in so she can keep paying the bills for Jack’s medical costs.
A GoFundMe page started and once Rider Nation found out about it through an article Rob Vanstone of the “Regina Leader-Post” printed earlier this month, they have come through with over $15,000 of a goal of $53,000 (US) being raised already. It is something Marjorie never expected.
“If I didn’t have faith that God was going to take care of us, I wouldn’t be standing.” Marjorie said. “I wished I could have lived there because I just can’t believe the people of Regina and Saskatchewan for doing what they are doing and coming through for Jack.”