In an interview with Chicago media, former NFL defensive tackle Steve McMichael announced that he was diagnosed with ALS. His diagnosis of 36-month onset ALS came back in January, but he had yet to reveal it to the general public until Friday.
ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, impacts the nervous system by weakening muscles and generally hurting the body’s ability to function. It is very uncommon, with fewer than 20,000 cases in the US every year. At this point, there is no cure to the disease.
Steve McMichael, also known as “Mongo”, spent 14 years in the NFL, 12 of which with the Chicago Bears. He was crucial to the 1985 Bears that won Super Bowl XX with one of the best defenses ever. The star defensive tackle made the first-team All-Pro twice and the second-team All-Pro three times.
After his NFL Career, McMichael stayed in the entertainment business. He joined the World Championship Wrestling as a color commentator from 1995 to 1996. McMichael also appeared in a variety of wrestling matches in the late 1990s. He then moved into coaching, taking the role of head coach for the CIFL’s Chicago Slaughter from 2007 until 2013.
McMichael made it clear on Friday that he is moving on from life in the spotlight, telling WGN News that “I’m here to tell everyone I’ve been diagnosed with ALS, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, so I’m not going to be a public figure any more.”
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