Outpouring of grief after death of Saskatchewan curler Aly Jenkins

Curler Aly Jenkins is seen in this undated handout photo. The Canadian Press / HO, Team Anderson

There’s been an outpouring of love and support for a promising Saskatchewan curler who died this week from complications during the birth of her third child.

Aly Jenkins, a member of Sherry Anderson’s rink, died Sunday at the age of 30.

Doctors determined amniotic fluid had entered her blood stream, which set off a rare amniotic fluid embolism. Her heart eventually gave out.

Teammate Nancy Martin, who plays third on Anderson’s team, said she had been waiting for a text from Jenkins when she heard the news.

Martin had curled with Jenkins for a couple of seasons and said she had an “incredible presence” and was a fierce competitor.

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“She was an amazing soul,” Martin, holding back tears, said Wednesday.

“She just brought so much joy to everyone around her and was always so thoughtful of all of her friends and touching base with everyone all the time.”

Jenkins was from Warman, Sask., about 25 kilometres north of Saskatoon. She wasn’t playing this year, but kept in contact with her teammates after each game and intended to return. She also planned to attend any events that were nearby.

She will be on their minds for the rest of the curling season, Martin said.

“Never take anything for granted. We’ll be thinking of Aly, obviously, every time we step on the ice.

“We want to win for her, but, most importantly, enjoy the moments together in memory of her as well.”

A GoFundMe page has been created to help the family and newborn Sydney. It had already raised $110,000 of its $250,000 goal by Wednesday.

Ashley Howard, executive director for CurlSask, said she knew Jenkins after playing against her for the last couple of years.

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“She was just a fantastic competitor and … someone who would beat you, but she would do it with a smile on her face at the same time,” Howard said from Regina.

“It really is devastating news for the community. Our thoughts are certainly with her husband and her family at this time.”

Scott Jenkins shared his pain on Twitter. He called Jenkins an amazing wife and mother.

“She loved everyone she played with and competed against,” he said.

Six-time Canadian women’s curling champion Jennifer Jones expressed her admiration for Jenkins in a reply on Twitter.

“And she was loved by her competitors. I am so very sorry to hear this news,” she wrote. “My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.”

Howard said Jenkins and her team played incredibly at last year’s Saskatchewan championship.

“Last year Aly and her team were one shot away from going to the Scotties (Canadian women’s championship),” she said. “They lost their provincial final on the last shot.”

A celebration of life is scheduled for Sunday at the Brian King Centre in Warman, Sask.

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