Tim Shaw, former linebacker for the Tennessee Titans, revealed on Tuesday that he suffers from a rare and difficult disease known as Lou Gehrig’s disease (or ALS- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). The Tennessee Titan released a video in which he drops a bucket of ice water over himself as part of his ALS fundraiser campaign.
During his video, the linebacker explained that he too is in this fight against the disease, before he underwent the “Ice Bucket Challenge” as part of this fundraiser.
Tim Shaw, the 30-year old Titan called on the Tennessee Titans team as well as Penn State head coach (James Franklin) and his Clarenceville, Michigan community to join him in the fight against Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.
Before retiring from his football career in 2013, Shaw was not just drafted by the Carolina Panthers after having played for Penn state, but was also part of the Jacksonville Jaguar team and the Chicago Bears. He then played three years together with his Tennessee Titans team before leaving football for good.
The “Ice Bucket Challenge” has already become famous on social media. Several celebrities, including former United States President George W. Bush or LeBron James (basketball star), have already posted videos of themselves pouring the ice-cold water on top of their heads.
Up till now, the challenge has already raised $31,5 million that is now being used by the ALS Association. The funds have been raised within the past and they have surpassed previous years by over 16 times according to the agency.
According to a 2012 study, National Football League players are at a higher risk of dying from neurodegenerative diseases than the general population.
Statistics show that over 5,600 people are diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis each year. The disease is also referred to as motor neuron disease or Charcot disease and represents a neurodegenerative disease that leads to muscle spasticity, progressive weakness, muscle atrophy, difficulty in speaking, swallowing and breathing. It attacks the nerve cells and pathways in both the brain and the spinal cord and ends up paralyzing patients.
The Ice Bucket Challenge has become viral in the summer of 2014 via social media networks and the rules are simple. Nominated participants must comply and film themselves while pouring a bucket of water over their heads within the 24 hours from their nomination, otherwise, they must forfeit and offer a charitable financial donation to the organization supporting Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis patients.