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Ex-Chicago Bear & WCW superstar Steve McMichael shares ALS diagnosis

Former Chicago Bear and WCW wrestler Steve "Mongo" McMichael has been left unrecognisable following his diagnosis with ALS. 

The 63-year old has been discussing his life with the condition commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

As a 6'2", 270lb defensive tackle, McMichael won a Super Bowl ring in 1986 with the Bears. He was a two-time Pro Bowler and was 19th on the list of 100 Greatest Bears upon the franchise's centenary in 2019.

Known for his outspoken nature and brash style, McMichael parlayed those traits into a post-football career in professional wrestling.

After appearing as support to Lawrence Taylor at the WWF's (now WWE) Wrestlemania XI in 1995, he signed on with rival promotion WCW later that year.

At first, McMichael was purely a co-commentator, but would later transition to life inside the ropes.

But now, his weight is down below 200lbs and his wife of 23-years, Misty, has to help him to use the bathroom and to bathe him.

ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. It became known as Lou Gehrig's Disease after it ended the career of the esteemed New York Yankee in 1941.

"I promise you,” McMichael told the Chicago Tribune, “this epitaph that I’m going to have on me now? This ain’t ever how I envisioned this was going to end.”

McMichael was first presented with the notion he could have ALS in September having complained of nerve issues. The diagnosis was ratified in January.

"I know what it feels like to go in the weight room and do a set of three with 725 pounds on the squat rack,” McMichael says. “Now? When I get up and try to move? It feels like I’m doing 1,000 (bleeping) pounds.

"And it’s just exhausting straining that hard. That’s what my world is now."

McMichael can no longer raise his arms, and says he can't even sign his name any more.

The disease is set to eventually obstruct his breathing and take away his famous voice.

“What I used to be is the antithesis of what I am now,” he says. “This is a humbling thing, brother.”

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