Tim Shaw's Announcement Regarding His Fight With ALS Was Very Brave

Tim Shaw's Announcement Regarding His Fight With ALS Was Very Brave
Credit: Twitter (@TShawsTruth)

Tim Shaw made an impact everywhere he went in the NFL.

The 30-year-old Penn State product revealed on Tuesday via the Tennessee Titans team website that he's currently battling ALS, the fatal neurodegenerative disease at the center of the viral ice bucket challenge.

ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) also known as Lou Gehrig's disease is one of the worst incurable diseases currently known. Three former NFL players, New Orleans Saints safety Steve Gleason, Baltimore Ravens linebacker O.J. Brigance and Philadelphia Eagles fullback Kevin Turner are just some other well known faces to develop the disease.

Since this ice bucket challenge craze started on July 29th, the ALS association has received $31.5 million in donations compared to $1.9 million during the same time period a year ago (July 29-Aug. 20). $8.6 million of that came on Tuesday.

Shaw, who spent six seasons in the NFL, appeared in 80 career games racking up 127 tackles and three forced fumbles with four different teams, Panthers (2007), Jaguars (2008), Bears (2009-10), Titans (2010-12).

This is a heartbreaking announcement considering last August Shaw was battling for a roster spot with the Titans, but ultimately was a part of the team's final cuts. Shortly thereafter he announced his retirement from football.

A former fifth-round pick in 2007, Shaw's career was highlighted by his 2009 campaign, where he set a Bears team record with 30 special-teams tackles. In the season finale, he put together the best performance of his career. It came against Detroit in front of 40 of his friends and family as he totaled eight special-teams tackles along with a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Shaw went on to serve as the Titans special teams captain for two seasons until he called it quits.

Even though he never suffered a recorded concussion in his time in the NFL, Shaw was playing a position that the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health calls a "speed" position. Other positions that fall into that category are running back and defensive back.

According to the CDC's (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) 2012 study, NFL players are four times more likely to develop and die from ALS than non-NFL players.

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According to the ALS association, the rare disease affects an estimated two in every 100,000 Americans each year. The association also says that the disease typically affects people aged 40-70, which only 25 percent of them actually live five years with.

With all that being said, Shaw is rather young to get the disease.

I've personally witnessed this horrible disease that not only affects your brain, but also your spinal cord and basically deteriorates your entire body without you having any say. One of my closest neighbor's dad had the disease for about seven years and I just remember how he regressed each time I saw him.

Even if you don't personally know someone who has been affected by the disease please take part in the search for finding a cure for ALS. You don't necessarily have to pour an ice bucket over your head unless you want to.

You can simply go over to alsa.org to make your donation, which I highly recommend you do.

Also make sure to follow Tim Shaw on Twitter (@TShawsTruth).

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