UMD hockey recruit Will Francis diagnosed with leukemia

The former Centennial standout has started chemotherapy.
Author:
Publish date:

University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs recruit Will Francis has begun chemotherapy after being diagnosed with leukemia. 

Francis, a 2019 sixth-round draft pick of the Anaheim Ducks, was playing for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders in the United States Hockey League (USHL) before a torn meniscus ended his 2019-20 season. On Wednesday, the USHL made the decision to cancel the remainder of the season due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

According to his CaringBridge page, Francis began feeling ill – sore throat, fatigue – a few weeks ago and was treated for tonsillitis. Over the past week, he went skiing and snowmobiling with family but was continuing to struggle with extreme fatigue and lost his appetite. 

On March 13, Francis was tested for mono at a hospital in Grand Marais. A doctor there ran a blood test and discovered that Francis' white blood cell count was at 178,000 compared a normal of approximately 10,000. 

That night doctors told him they thought he has leukemia. After a blood transfusion he was taken by ambulance to Mason Children's Hospital in Minneapolis, where he was diagnosed with B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. 

Francis started chemotherapy earlier this week and is ready to "Kick it's A$$!", according to his CaringBridge story. 

"Thoughts and Prayers to the Francis Family," reads a tweet from the Rough Riders. "RiderTownUSA knows you will attack this like you do everything else. With your 'Will' Power and attitude there is no one or no thing that will ever defeat Will Francis. You got this Franny!"

Francis, a 6'5'' defenseman, helped Centennial High School finish fourth at the 2018 Class AA Minnesota state tournament. 

"Support one of our own as he takes on a new battle, one he will surely take on like every other challenge. The #cougarnation is behind you!" reads a tweet from Centennial High School hockey

Next Up

police tape, crime scene

Police: Man dies after breaking window during domestic assault in St. Paul

The man's official cause of death will be ruled by a medical examiner.

Rep. Joe McDonald

'No respect': MN lawmaker shows up to debate in pirate costume

He was called out on Twitter by Rep. Kaohly Vang Her.

Rocco Baldelli

Twins-Athletics postponed for Monday amid COVID issues

The Twins are hoping to play a doubleheader with the A's on Tuesday.

Rep. Maxine Waters

Maxine Waters speaks in Brooklyn Center, draws ire of right-wing media

The congresswoman visited protesters Saturday night.

Justin Fields

5 quarterbacks the Vikings could select in the 2021 NFL Draft

Will the Vikings get a successor for Kirk Cousins?

Chet Holmgren

ESPN to televise Chet Holmgren's college decision on Monday

Holmgren has narrowed his list of suitors to seven schools.

Related

Jordana Green

WCCO Radio's Jordana Green diagnosed with leukemia

"I got this," Green wrote on her Facebook page.

UMD flips the switch for playoff hockey

As good as the UMD Bulldogs are in the regular season, they're usually even better in the playoffs. The defending national champs are known for doing the little things a little bit better than their opponents in the postseason. WCHA player of the year Jack Connolly says the little things will "win you games; they’ll win you championships.”