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L.A. Firefighter Who Formerly Played for Rams Battling ALS

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A 30-year-old Los Angeles firefighter has been "stopped in his tracks" after being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease, the Fire Department announced Wednesday.

Before joining LAFD, Eric Stevens had a successful football career, serving as captain of UC Berkeley's team and before joining the St. Louis Rams as a free agent in 2013.

Stevens went on to join LAFD in 2015, and in an Instagram post the agency says he was "off to a strong career" — until he was diagnosed recently.

"Everything's changed. It's been completely flipped upside down," Stevens said.

View this post on Instagram

We want to share a story about a member of our family. One of Your #LAFD firefighters, Eric Stevens, is facing the unimaginable....at only 30 years old he was diagnosed with #ALS. Eric has quite a backstory, after playing for and Captaining the NCAA Division 1 football team at Cal Berkeley, he went on to play for the St Louis Rams. In 2015, Eric joined the LAFD and was off to a strong career. And then he was stopped in his tracks with this recent diagnosis. If you would like to learn more about Eric's journey and his fight to advocate for early access to drugs and treatments for patients, we invite you to follow one of the below accounts. Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/teamstevensnation/ Instagram: @teamstevensnation Go Fund Me: http://bit.ly/3133Snr . . #firefamily #firefighter #fightals

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Also called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, Lou Gehrig's is a progressive disease that kills off neurons that control muscles throughout the body. There is no cure, and it will eventually turn fatal.

"The average life expectancy for an ALS patient is two to five years, and paralysis comes a lot sooner than that," Stevens said.

Stevens is a San Pedro native who recently got married — about a month before he was diagnosed, according to the East Bay Times.

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help raise money for Stevens' medical costs. As of Wednesday evening, it had raised nearly $74,000 of its $1 million goal.

You can also follow Stevens' journey via Facebook and Instagram.

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