Ludzik receives Meritorious Service Decoration

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Steve Ludzik received one of the highest honors in Canada.

A former National Hockey League player and one of the most famous junior hockey stars in Niagara Falls history, Ludzik was recently awarded a Meritorious Service Decoration (Civil Division) by the Governor General of Canada in “testimony” of his “outstanding achievement”. and service to the nation.

Following his career as a player, coach and broadcaster, Ludzik established the Steve Ludzik Parkinson’s Rehabilitation Center at the Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehabilitation Center in St. Catharines.

In addition to fundraising initiatives through his foundation to support the center, including hosting celebrity roasts and golf tournaments, Ludzik has spoken publicly about his battle with Parkinson’s disease and other ailments including Crohn’s disease and, more recently, liver disease.

According to the Governor General’s website, the Meritorious Service Decorations recognize Canadians for “exceptional deeds” that bring honor to the country.

They honor achievement in the military and civilian divisions. The Civil Division was created to recognize “distinguished contributions” in many different endeavors, including advocacy initiatives, health care services, research, and humanitarian efforts.

Recipients have fought poverty in their community, improved educational opportunities for children in Canada and abroad, or raised awareness of important causes and issues.

Ludzik received a congratulatory letter from the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General in December.

“Your decoration will be publicly announced by the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General (OSGG) this winter, the letter read. “Following this announcement, you are invited to use the post-nominal MSM and wear the attached pin.”

The letter states that Ludzik will also receive a certificate.

“Enclosed you will find a notebook, pen and information on how to become a volunteer presiding officer at citizenship ceremonies held across Canada and from the Canadian Heraldic Authority on how to apply for coat of arms or other heraldic emblems.

Ludzik said he will receive a medal in the future.

The 60-year-old said he did not know who nominated him for the recognition as it is a confidential process.

“For me, it’s an award (for) the people who have helped our foundation – they are the ones who all deserve the congratulations,” Ludzik said.

“I’m the name on the plate, I guess, on the marquee, but the people who go and sell tickets, and sell tables and do this and volunteer for that, those are the people that this honor is really for. .”

Ludzik continues to recover from a liver transplant that took place last April at Toronto General Hospital after an anonymous donor was found and a clogged artery was treated, which delayed the three month operation.

Before and after the transplant, he battled issues such as organ failure, delirium, infections, heart and blood clots, and weight loss, as well as numerous trips in and out of hospital. .

Ludzik said he was able to overcome his health issues thanks to medical professionals and the support he received from the community.

For example, Niagara Falls was lit up red for Steve Ludzik Day last April in conjunction with Parkinson’s Awareness Month, while the Ludzik clinic sold “Ludzy Strong” t-shirts like fundraiser, with many buyers sending him pictures of themselves wearing it.

“My wife said to me, ‘I’ve never seen you so cool and calm before a 12-hour operation for your liver,’ he said. “I felt that all the people – my friends and my family – were behind me and wished me well, and I felt it and I will never forget it. I was so surprised by the love of Niagara Falls.

Ludzik said he feels well enough to actively resume fundraising for his Parkinson’s Foundation and is planning a golf tournament and concert later this year.

“I have no time to waste, and I really want it to start big because we’re really excited to know where we’re going with all of this.”

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