Faith on the Field: NFL Player Tim Shaw Wages War on ALS
Former NFL player Tim Shaw is facing an opponent that is not often seen on the football field.
It's Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, better known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease. It's a disease he believes may be a result of repeated head injury and concussions.
After leaving the NFL, he was diagnosed with with the disease. Now he wants the league to fund research investigating the link and possibly find a cure.
"All football players deserve to know whether them stepping on the football field gives them the risk of getting ALS," Shaw said.
His NFL run ended as a Tennessee Titan after seven years and four teams. Shaw played football the same way he approaches life--devoted and determined.
"Can't be half in. Either you're in or you're out," Shaw explained. "So be all in! Football was made for me and I was made for it and we had a great run."
Shaw& was cut before the 2013 season and retired seven months later on his 30th birthday. The following month, issues with his muscles led him to the doctor, where a different, destructive opponent emerged.
"I was alone and they did a couple tests and he came back in and he said, 'Tim, I believe you have ALS. I'd like you to get another opinion, but I believe you have it,'" Shaw recalled.
The diagnosis left Shaw in unbelief.
"You never think that you'll have to face something like this, and no one would ever choose it for you," Shaw said. "But when something is dropped down right in front of your face and you have no choice, you do actually have a choice, you can turn and run or you can face it."
Shaw waited four months before sharing his diagnosis publicly. He felt he had a responsibility to impact those struggling with the disease.
"God has really put me here for a purpose," he said. "And what an amazing opportunity it is!"