Former National Hockey League official Kerry Fraser announced on Friday that he has been diagnosed with essential thrombocythemia, a chronic blood disorder and an incurable form of cancer.

Fraser said he learned of the diagnosis 10 days ago and announced it on as the league starts its November Hockey Fights Cancer campaign for the 20th straight year. 

"I consider myself blessed that this rare disease was diagnosed before I had a stroke or heart attack," he wrote. "At 65, I was planning on living a healthy, full life for many more years. 

"Now that I know I have this disease I can take extra precautions to keep my blood thinner and hopefully prevent a blood clot from hitting my heart or brain. My family gives me strength and a good reason to prioritize my goals in life."
A longtime NHL referee, Fraser worked in the league from 1980 to 2010 and also officiated at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey and the 1998 Winter Olympics.

After his retirement, he worked as a TSN Hockey contributor appearing on SportsCentre, That's Hockey, That's Hockey 2Nite and wrote his 'C'Mon Ref' column on