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Club rallies to support Macleod figure skater

Fort Macleod club skater Jesse Smith

Jesse Smith skated March 17 at the Fort Macleod Skating Club's carnival, even though he had just been diagnosed with cancer. The club is now raising money to support Smith as he undergoes radiation treatment for adenoid cystic carcinoma.

A trust fund has been set up at Chinook Credit Union to help a Fort Macleod athlete win his battle with cancer.
Figure skater Jesse Smith has been diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma and will undergo radiation treatment in Calgary.
Smith has been told the treatments could last up to six months, so Fort Macleod Skating Club has set up the trust fund.
“Jesse will be unable to work in that time and will be incurring a great deal of extra expenses,” the skating club’s Denise Joel said.
Smith took up figure skating at the age of 10 and was soon competing provincially as a member of the Fort Macleod Skating Club.
Now 24, Smith has competed at the national level four times and has been coaching skating and doing ice dance partnering around southern Alberta for five years.
In 2010-’11 Smith had a 10-month contract to skate professionally with Disney On Ice, a figure skating show based around Disney movies and characters that act out scenes through on-ice choreography.
“He had a lot of raw talent right from the start, but it was his passion for the sport and his dedication that brought him the success that he had attained,” said Joel, who has known Smith as a skater since his earliest days with the Fort Macleod club.
Smith, who trained in Lethbridge in addition to Fort Macleod, has in recent years been sharing his knowledge and experience with other skaters.
“Jesse has been instrumental to our current skaters with their success in dance,” Joel said. “This year alone, his skill with partnering has been instrumental to our group of senior skaters to pass between two and four dances each, which is quite a feat when they are working on silver and gold level dances.”
Fort Macleod was treated March 17 to a display of Smith’s impressive talent during the skating club’s annual carnival.
Smith and fellow coach Kim Civiero did a pairs performance, and later in the carnival Smith skated solo.
Those performances were proof positive of Smith’s dedication and determination.
“Jesse was aware at the time of the carnival that he had cancer, just did not know the extent,” Joel said. “He was not about to let that stop him from fulfilling his commitments over the next while, including skating at the carnival and partnering at least 30 girls in a skating test day a week later.”
In 2010-’11 Smith had a 10-month contract to skate professionally with Disney On Ice, a figure skating show based around Disney movies and characters that act out scenes through on-ice choreography.
Fort Macleod Skating Club plans to support Smith as much as possible during his radiation treatments.
“One way will be to open a trust account in his name and raise awareness about the challenge that he is facing,” Joel explained. “We will be appealing to other skating clubs and to the community as well.”
The club plans to have a skate-a-thon to raise more money when the ice is back in the arena next fall, and is discussing other fund-raising ideas.
Donations can be made at Chinook Credit Union to the Jesse Smith Trust Account or sent to the Fort Macleod Skating Club at P.O. Box 64, Fort Macleod, T0L 0Z0.
For more information contact Denise Joel at 403-553-5336 or denise.joel@albertahealthservices.ca.

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