Former Chicago Bears great Steve “Mongo” McMichael is battling ALS. McMichael, 63, revealed his diagnosis with the Chicago Tribune on Friday, telling the outlet he wanted to let fans know “why they’re no longer going to see me around.”
McMichael was diagnosed with ALS a little over three months ago. Since then, he’s lost 50-60 pounds, can no longer raise his arms and will likely be confined to a wheelchair soon, according to the Tribune.
He now needs his wife of 23 years, Misty, to feed him, help him use the bathroom and give him sponge baths.
He no longer can raise his arms or hold anything in his hands.
Full-time confinement in that wheelchair likely is just around the corner.
“I promise you,” McMichael says, “this epitaph that I’m going to have on me now? This ain’t ever how I envisioned this was going to end.”
McMichael spent 15 years in the NFL, 13 of which came with the Bears. He was a key member of the 1985 Bears team that won the Super Bowl. McMichael made the Pro Bowl and the All-Pro team twice during his career.
Steve McMichael is an icon in Chicago
Following his retirement, McMichael dabbled in wrestling. He appeared in various matches in both WWF — now WWE — and WCW. McMichael also served as a wrestling commentator.
McMichael — known for his outgoing personality — has remained a popular figure in Chicago. He’s served as a co-host of the Bears’ pre-game show on ESPN 1000. He also remains the only person to ever be ejected from a Chicago Cubs game while singing the seventh-inning stretch.
McMichael has also served as a singer and guitarist in the “Chicago 6,” a band made up of former Bears players. A number of McMichael’s former teammates have visited McMichael since his diagnosis.
McMichael and his wife, Misty, have set up a Go Fund Me page to deal with the medical bills they’ve received since McMichael’s diagnosis. The couple is also looking to move into a wheelchair-accessible home soon and are seeking help from Bears fans who can help.
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