"This disease is so scary". When speaking about Guillain-Barre syndrome, you can’t help but realize what a devastating affliction it is. Gullian-Barre syndrome, named after French physicians Guillain, Barré and Strohl whom discovered the disease, is a rare autoimmune illness in which the body’s own immune system attacks the neurological system. Most who suffer from the disease recover in a year or two with minor residual effects. However, about 10% who are sickened from the syndrome experience long term effects, including recurring relapses of the disease. In worst case scenarios, the patient can suffer from paralysis.
Chicago Bears’ very own William ‘The Refrigerator’ Perry is currently fighting this terrible disorder. First diagnosed in June 2008, The Fridge has since been in and out of the hospital taking on a disease that is far more intimidating than any offensive lineman.
Perry’s brother Michael Dean, also a former NFL player, has told the Associated Press that The Fridge is finally back home recovering nicely. Aside from some hearing loss, he seems on the road to a full recovery. He is back up near his normal weight of 330 pounds after losing almost 100 pounds due to the disease.
With a smile that could light up more than just a score board, The Fridge has built a special place in Bears history. From his rookie season in which he rumbled and rolled into the end zone during Super Bowl XX to his tights wearing WWF feud with Big John Studd leading up to Wrestlemania II, Perry has been a fan favorite from the very beginning.
William Perry played 9 seasons with the Bears, first busting on the scene in a Week 6 game against the San Francisco 49ers during the Super Bowl Shuffle year of 1985. As a pay back to then 49ers coach Bill Walsh, Da Coach inserted Perry into the offensive back field and watched his huge full back plow over defenders.
A pop culture star was born.
His legend would grow the next week in a Monday night affair with rival Green Bay. Perry cleared the way for Bears Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton with devastating blocks on would be tacklers before scoring his own touchdown in a prime time victory over the hated Packers.
A star among stars, the Fridge was arguably the biggest character in a group full of over whelming personalities. He has taken his celebrity to other realms than just that of football; appearing in numerous sitcoms, charity events and celebrity appearances.
It’s a shame that we now must hear about William Perry in his current condition. The good news is, he seems to be shuffling his way to recovery. Get well soon, Big Guy, can't wait to see that smile again.