our bodies

Major Athletes Speaking Out About Pregnancy Loss

March 19, 2019
Katherine Flemming

Thankfully, there's been plenty of sharing around miscarriage and pregnancy loss in the last little while. While there's still much work to do, we can appreciate how forthcoming people have been with their struggles, whether on this platform, or on social media (check out the #facesoffertility hashtag and grab a Costco-size case of tissues) which will hopefully shift the stigma to becoming a lot more mainstream as we continue to talk.

And what's been really incredible as of late is all the sharing that we've seen with men—specifically, pro athletes. Last week, San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane announced the death of his daughter at 26 weeks gestation, which is about six months pregnant. He posted his message on his Twitter account.

"I would like to thank everyone who has reached out to my wife and I during this extremely difficult time. Over the weekend, our daughter, Eva, at 26 weeks, passed away. As expecting parents, this past week has broken us."

He went on to thank everyone in his community who had reached out, from friends, family, and the entire Sharks team and community. When he returned to a game earlier this week, he received a standing ovation from a sold-out crowd when his face flashed onto the Jumbotron. Can you image the emotional tsunami he must have been under in that moment? Ooooof. Kane noted that his family is heartbroken, and that he couldn't find the words to summarize the grief. "Words cannot express how excited we were to welcome our baby girl into the world and watch her grow. Eva, you have been the absolute biggest blessing of our lives and we are so grateful for all the joy you brought us in a short about of time."

Last year Kane's teammate, Erik Karlsson, and his wife Melinda lost their son Axel, a month before he was expected to be born. Stillbirths are still often unexplained, only fuelling the frustration. And the head coach of the Sharks, Peter DeBoer and his wife Susan, also struggled with the loss of a child a week before their birth in 2002.

At the beginning of this year, San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin and his wife, Morgan, posted a 13 minute video to his YouTube channel about their loss of twin boys. He's also been vocal about supporting Kane, and tweeted a prayer to Kane and his family last week.

Seeing this shift amongst pro athletes, who are under incredible pressure to have a macho, stiff upper lip mentality, it's a refreshing turn. Men are suffering and struggle with fertility issues too—beautiful, and heartbreaking at the same time.

The more we all share, the better we'll be.