ST. PAUL, Minn. -- When practice ends and the skates are off, Jake Dowell is just like any of his other Minnesota Wild teammates, tired and ready to go home to rest.
Dowell doesn't always take the chance to relax. When the opportunity arises, Dowell makes a short trip to Menomonie or Eau Claire, Wisc. The burden Dowell carries with him his more than just competing to make Minnesota's roster or preparing for the next opponent.
Dowell, born in Eau Claire, has been watching his dad and older brother slowly die because of a debilitating neurological disorder, Huntington's disease, which attacks the brain and impairs physical and cognitive function. Dowell, 28, lives with the uncertainty that he might also carry the same deadly gene.
"It's terrible," Dowell said of dealing with the unknown. "It's something that I wouldn't want anybody to have to have hanging over their heads. It's something that is on my mind, but it's something that I can't control. So, I have to really just go about...