As a kid, when Max Domi was asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, he always had the same answer: a hockey player. He was the son of a professional hockey player—Tie Domi—so he saw from an early age what it takes to make the NHL: grit, talent, and the support of a team. Over countless hours at the rink, on the driveway, and in the gym, Max chased his dream. It seemed that he was born to be on the ice.
But when he was twelve years old, Max started getting sick. And sicker. Eventually, he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
Overnight, Max and his family found their lives upended. All he wanted was to be a normal kid, but suddenly the simplest things—a game of basketball with friends, a family meal, a school field trip—were scrutinized. Would he be made fun of if he carried his glucometer everywhere? Would his teammates think he was weak if his blood sugar went low at hockey practice? How much insulin did he need after a meal? And all the while, Max felt the fear of what might happen if things went wrong on or off the ice. He had to grow up quickly.
Max realized that handling his disease used similar qualities as being a hockey player—mental and physical toughness, maturity, and love from family and friends. Bit by bit, he learned—sometimes the hard way—not just to control his diabetes but to turn it into an advantage. If managing the disease meant that Max had to be stronger, more prepared, and more disciplined than others his age, then he wouldn’t just be good at those things: he’d be the best. He’d do whatever it took to get closer to his dream of playing in the NHL.
Inspiring, heartwarming, and exciting, No Days Off is a memoir about what it’s like to be a kid whose world is turned upside down, and what it takes to make your dreams reality.
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