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L.A. firefighter who played for NFL diagnosed with ALS

Eric Stevens, who played for the St. Louis Rams, was diagnosed with ALS one month after his wedding

By Gary Peterson
East Bay Times

LOS ANGELES — If you’re familiar with ALS, you know it is one of the worst diagnoses a body can ever receive. And you probably wonder: Why does it always seem to strike the best people?

Eric Stevens, a native of San Pedro, played sparingly during his football career at Cal. He had 14 carries for 53 yards, and 13 catches for 82 yards and one touchdown, in his two seasons at Cal. And yet he was so inspiring he was voted team captain.

He wasn’t drafted, and yet the St. Louis Rams signed him.

He never saw the playing field in an NFL game. But that’s OK, he segued to a career far more meaningful and important, that as a Los Angeles City firefighter.

He recently got married. One month after the wedding Eric, 29, got the diagnosis.

The page’s author notes the difficulty for many to get drugs that treat the disease, even those that are not all that effective in relieving symptoms.

“Given his strong determination and success in anything he puts his mind to, Eric has chosen to fight and advocate for getting drugs and treatments available to patients NOW,” the page reads. “Eric’s goal with the help of his family and friends, is to raise awareness for ALS and act now toward getting treatments available.”


©2019 the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.)

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