Penn State and Titans Football Player, Tim Shaw, Has ALS

Penn State linebacker and Tennessee Titans NFL Football Player, Tim Shaw, has ALS, according to Penn Live. Shaw performed in the 2005 Big Ten championship for Penn State, achieving an 11-1 finish as the university’s linebacker. Tim Shaw, 30, played with the Panthers, Jacksonville, Chicago and the Titans as captain. He used the Tennessee team’s website to announce his ALS diagnosis while participating in the viral video ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on Tuesday.

CBS Sports adds that Shaw was picked during the fifth round of NFL Draft in 2007 right after graduating Penn State. Penn Live also reports that Shaw played under Joe Paterno in 2005, beating Florida State in the Orange Bowl. With a successful career with the Panthers, Bears and Jaguars, he retired last year from the Titans. “A year ago I was playing NFL football. I’ve recently been diagnosed with ALS. I’m here today to stand up and fight with all of you against this disease.” His words were both part of his ALS Ice Bucket Challenge introduction and a formal announcement that he had ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

In the video, Time Shaw challenges Penn State coach, James Franklin, and the football team at Penn State. ESPNreports that the Penn State football team has an uncertain future as the university waits to see if the postseason ban is lifted. Shaw’s challenge is sure to be a morale booster for the upcoming football season. According to CBS Philly, Shaw also challenged the NFL Titans and the NFL community to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Inquisitr reports that the viral video trend has raised millions of dollars in funds by getting celebrities to participate and becoming a hit in social media. Even Justin Bieber challenged President Obama on August 16.

The challenge has brought awareness and raised funds for a good cause. ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, preventing the motor coordinating communication from the brain to the body’s muscles. According to the ALS Association, it is “a progressive neurodegenerative disease” and leads to death by causing the motor neurons to die out and leading to a slow, but eventual, total paralysis. At this time, there is no known cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and research funds go towards finding treatments. There is one FDA-approved drug, known as riluzole, and it has shown some positive effects in slowing down the progression of ALS. Other clinical trials hold some hope for those affected by this disease, which has been known to take the lives of several notable figures. Disabled World notes that ALS has affected great talents, including Lou Gehrig, Lead Belly, Jacob Javits, Chris Pendergast, Stephen Hawking and others. Tim Shaw has inspired Penn State fans and NFL fans alike to participate and donate money to Lou Gehrig’s Disease through the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

(Image courtesy of Joe Hermitt, PennLive)