McMichael has been battling ALS, often informally known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, for some time after receiving two separate medical opinions. Common early symptoms of ALS include gradual muscle deterioration and at least some form of motor and cognitive decline. McMichael, 63, uses his own wheelchair provided by the Bears and has lost the use of both his arms and legs.
“I’m not going to be out in the public anymore … you’re not going to see me out doing appearances, hell, I can’t even sign my name anymore, and everybody’s going to be speculating ‘Where’s McMichael, what’s wrong with him?” McMichael told WGN. “I’m here to tell everyone I’ve been diagnosed with ALS, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, so I’m not going to be a public figure anymore.”
A former All-Pro, McMichael played for the Bears from 1981-1993 and was a major contributor to the Super Bowl XX champion squad in 1985. He was then a regular in the Chicagoland media community for years, making routine appearances on both TV and radio while providing his unique commentary on the Bears and NFL.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help with McMichael’s medical expenses. Chicago company Obvious Shirts has also created a t-shirt that reads “Team Mongo.”
All funds will go directly to help with McMichael’s battle.