When the news Minnesota Wild goaltender Josh Harding's had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis broke late Wednesday night, fans in the state of hockey went numb from the shock.
Harding, however, told FOX 9 News he has come to terms with it even if he doesn't fully know what to expect.
"I've known for a while, so it's not as big of a shock probably for me. I think everything is looking positive," Harding said "I feel great when I'm skating, I feel healthy and I'm not going to let this make who I am."
Harding originally headed to the doctor's office when he wasn't feeling well to check out what he thought was an issue with his neck.
"Looking back, I wasn't feeling that good for a bit -- just feeling off," Harding recalled. "When I was skating one time, I just got really dizzy and started seeing big black dots. I didn't know what it was and I thought it was my neck."
Harding explains a previous neck issue made him suspect it, but doctors found something else -- an abnormality and lesion on Harding's spinal cord.
A scan of his brain found two more lesions, and helped explain the cause his symptoms. Up until then, Harding had been skating with teammates at Ridder arena; although, teammates admit they started to become concerned when he stopped showing up for the workouts.
"It's shocking," said Cal Clutterbuck "It was to the point where Josh wasn't around for a little while, so we had a feeling something was up."
Harding reached out to teammates on Wednesday before the news broke, and said he has received nothing but support from friends, teammates and fans since his diagnosis was made public.
"It's a pretty sad thing to hear when someone your own age -- and a friend and teammate -- gets diagnosed with that," said new Wild forward Zach Parise. "I know he's been doing the treatment for a little bit already and he's been skating with us and he still looks good."
Harding is feeling some fatigue, but outside of that and having some trouble sleeping at night, he isn't feeling too bad. An aggressive treatment plan is underway and Harding is hoping to continue to play through the disease.
"I don't want people to treat me different," Harding said. "Obviously they care about you, but when it comes to just going out and having some fun, they've been outstanding."