Tragedy has brought a hockey community together in Germany as the family and friends of a young hockey player have come together to raise information about the disease that took his life.
John Grube was struck down by the rare disease Granulomatosis with Polyangilitis (GPA) when he was just 15. Despite the condition, which affects the workmate and efficiency of blood vessels in the major organs, John continued to play hockey for the first team of the Hamburger Polo Club for a further three years.
The young, popular hockey player died just before his 18th birthday, a few weeks after the illness had caused him to stop playing the sport he loved.
In memory of John, friends and family from Hamburger Polo Club have created the John Grube Foundation which aims, through its website – GPA-info.org – to raise awareness and inform people about the rare and little known disease.
The Foundation will also raise funds to support international research projects into the disease.
In addition, a group of volunteers at Hamburger Polo Club have worked together to produce a video which summarises and explains the Foundations creation, its purpose and its objectives and future projects. One member of the club has described the film as “moving and beautiful.” One of the key messages contained within the film is to warn parents about the dangers of GPA, which is rare among children but potentially fatal.
Chair of the John Grube Foundation Friedrich Schaper said: “Thanks to every helping hand, volunteer and supporter from Hamburger Polo Club. We are very proud of the outcome.”