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'She lit up the room': Friends, family remember, mourn curler Aly Jenkins

The curling world is remembering a loving mother, fierce competitor and fast friend, after Aly Jenkins died from rare complications during the birth of her third child.

Jenkins, a 30-year-old member of Sherry Anderson’s rink, died Sunday afternoon from rare complications during the delivery of daughter Sydney. According to the Canadian Press, amniotic fluid had entered Jenkins’ blood stream, resulting in an amniotic fluid embolism.

Travis Jenkins, Aly’s brother-in-law, described her as “the best mom. She was so good to my brother.

“I never dreamed of having a sister-in-law that could potentially beat me at a sport. And I was scared that she could beat me. She was a really good golfer, she was a really good hockey player. Growing up she was an amazing curler.”

With Jenkins serving as lead for Anderson’s rink, the squad competed at the Saskatchewan provincial championships, nearly qualifying for the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in 2019.

“She lit up the room, she was vibrant. She was funny, she liked to have fun,” Anderson said in an interview.

“She was a competitor out on the ice,” Anderson said. “She just brought it. I don’t know how else to explain it.”

Curl Saskatchewan said in a Facebook post that the “hearts of the Saskatchewan curling community ache” over Jenkins’ death.

Synergy Strength in Warman, where Jenkins was a member, said their “hearts are broken” as the family goes “through the unimaginable.” Jenkins studied at the University of Saskatchewan, where she received a masters degree in physical therapy.

Friends and family by the hundreds took to social media to express their condolences. Businesses and local teams not only in their home community of Warman but throughout the province did the same. Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole, on TSN’s Sportscentre, shared well-wishes to the family. All of them had some connection with the 30 year old and her family.

In a Facebook post, Aly Jenkins’ aunt, Stephanie Thomson, remembered her niece when she was young, with “your beautiful golden hair and your sassy attitude and your energetic spirit — but also your nurturing and loving heart.”

Kory McNabb, a cousin and friend of Jenkins, said in a Facebook post said he remembered her “being the first girl I ever seen play on the boys Fort Falcons team.” Jenkins, McNabb said, was “a real-life superhero.”

Jessi Nyssen said the world “lost a gorgeous, hilarious spark of a person.”

A GoFundMe was set up in support of the couple’s three children: Brady, Avery and Sydney. The newborn remained in critical condition on Wednesday but, according to Aly’s husband and Sydney’s father Scott in a Facebook update, “so far, all good news.”

In the first two days, the GoFundMe had already generated more than $112,000. The page described Jenkins as “a loving mom, wife, daughter, sister, coworker and friend that touched the hearts of everyone she met.”

“The support is absolutely amazing,” Travis Jenkins said.

Her funeral is scheduled to take place Sunday at 2 p.m. at Brian King Centre in Warman.

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019

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