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Former NHL all-star Theoren Fleury visits Belleville

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Theoren Fleury and co-author Kim Barthel stop by the Digital Media Centre at Loyalist College during their visit to Belleville on Tuesday. Photo by Shelden Rogers.

By Shelden Rogers [2]

Former NHL all-star Theoren Fleury [3] stopped by Loyalist College Tuesday morning during a trip to Belleville.

His visit is part of a tour that sees him delivering speeches to communities and promoting his new book Conversations With a Rattlesnake. [3]

Fleury spent 14 seasons in the NHL, mostly with the Calgary Flames. He is also a victim of sexual abuse. During his junior hockey career, he was sexually abused by his coach Graham James. Since then, Fleury has spoken out about his personal experiences through public appearances, and his first book Playing with Fire [4].

His new book is about dealing with trauma and getting past it.

Fleury says he loves everything about this new lifestyle.

“It’s been incredibly rewarding. I’ve gotten to travel this country from one end to another, from top to bottom, and have really met some incredible people,” said Fleury.

Fleury’s message is “Don’t quit before the miracle”. He speaks to audiences about moving forward and never giving up. He speaks about his personal traumatic experiences during his young career as a hockey player.

Visits to communities like Belleville gives Fleury and his co-author Kim Barthel the opportunity to help people who have gone through traumatic experiences, he said.

“To run into people that have been stuck most of their lives, and living in their own traumatic experiences, Kim and I’s relationship allows us to take that person and get them un-stuck.”

Barthel says these visits mean everything to her and Fleury.

“Our intent is to create change one moment at a time. It doesn’t matter where we are, there is joy and wonderness every day, seeing people transform. Belleville is a wonderful place to be, and we are honoured that we have the opportunity to be here,” says Barthel.

Fleury and Barthel will be delivering their message at the Belleville Library on Tuesday night from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.