Serge Payer is a retired Canadian & American professional hockey player. Payer retired at the end of the 2011 season. Payer played 119 career NHL games with the Florida Panthers and the Ottawa Senators.
In 1999, Payer's career nearly came to an end when he was diagnosed with Guillain–Barré syndrome while playing junior hockey for the Kitchener Rangers. After a 10-month battle with the disease, he returned to the Rangers before eventually making his NHL debut on November 13, 2000, against the Atlanta Thrashers.
Now as an engaging, honest and highly regarded speaker he talks about leadership, teamwork and the life lessons he learned along the way.
He has started a foundation to raise money for Guillain–Barré syndrome research and to promote public awareness of the disease.
Guillain-Barré (gee-YAH-buh-RAY) syndrome is a rare disorder in which your body's immune system attacks your nerves. Weakness and tingling in your extremities are usually the first symptoms. These sensations can quickly spread, eventually paralyzing your whole body. In its most severe form Guillain-Barré syndrome is a medical emergency. Most people with the condition must be hospitalized to receive treatment.
The exact cause of Guillain-Barré syndrome is unknown. But it is often preceded by an infectious illness such as a respiratory infection or the stomach flu. There's no known cure for Guillain-Barré syndrome, but several treatments can ease symptoms and reduce the duration of the illness. Most people recover from Guillain-Barré syndrome, though some may experience lingering effects from it, such as weakness, numbness or fatigue.
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