Ducks goalies coach Sudarshan Maharaj is cancer-free, a year after given low chance of survival

Ducks goaltender coach Sudarshan “Sudsie” Maharaj threw a party for family and friends near his home in Toronto over the weekend.

He had plenty to celebrate.

“It’s not a tradition here in Canada as much as it is in the U.S., but some people will know what it means when I do this,” Maharaj said before picking up a hand bell and ringing it several times.

His guests erupted in cheers, as many of them knew exactly what it meant.

“For those who don’t know, I saw the oncologist yesterday,” Maharaj continued, “and I was declared cancer-free.”

Even louder cheers followed, while Maharaj’s wife Yvonne picked up the bell and rang it several more times to commemorate the joyous occasion.

Maharaj was given a low chance of survival when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in May 2023. A member of the Ducks family for more than 10 years and the team’s goalies coach since 2016, Maharaj was unable to work for most of the past season while facing such challenges as major surgery that removed his gallbladder and parts of his small intestines, pancreas and stomach, as well as 11 rounds of chemotherapy.

He surprised the team in February with a locker room visit while the Ducks were in Toronto for a game against the Maple Leafs.

“I just wanted you guys to know it’s amazing what can happen when you focus on beating the odds,” he told the team at the time. “I was told when I got diagnosed I had a 20 to 40% chance of survival — 20 to 40%.

“Here I am.”

Maharaj returned to work on a limited basis late in the season and will be building up to working full time again over the next few months.

“It’s been an emotional year for my family and me, culminating with the incredible news that I am cancer free,” Maharaj said in a statement in which he thanked his doctors, the Ducks organization and others.

“I wouldn’t be here today without the support of my wife, Yvonne, and two daughters, Alexandra and Katherine. In many ways I am extremely lucky, beginning with having them in my life.”

Maharaj and fellow Ducks assistant Mike Stothers, a survivor of Stage 3 melanoma of the lymph node, were selected by the NHL to receive and donate a $25,000 grant to nonprofits raising cancer awareness in Orange County. Stothers — a special adviser to the coaches of the Ducks and their AHL affiliate, the San Diego Gulls — received his diagnosis just months before Maharaj and was able to continue to work full time this season while undergoing treatment.

“My good friend and fellow coach Mike Stothers, who is also winning his fight against cancer, reminded us all after his diagnosis that we should listen to our body and see a doctor if something feels off,” Maharaj wrote in his statement. “I did just that, and I’m alive today as a direct result. Thank you Mike, and thank you all!”

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