A long-time North Carolina news anchor who shared his “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge” with viewers last year, announced his own diagnosis with Lou Gehrig’s disease and his retirement during a live broadcast.
Larry Stogner, who has anchored the 6 p.m. news at ABC11-WTVD since 1982, told viewers he is retiring to fight amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and spend time with his family, Fox News
“I am sure that in recent months, you’ve noticed a change in my voice, my speech slower. Many of you were kind enough to email ideas about what it might be, or just show concern, and I truly appreciate that,” Stogner told viewers.
“As it turns out, I have ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease. Some of you may remember me taking the ALS ice bucket challenge back in the summer. Little did I know, it was about to change my life. There is no cure. My career in broadcast journalism is coming to an end.”
Stogner called himself “blessed” to have worked with ABC11, which covers Raleigh, Durham, and the surrounding areas, and said he would return in a few weeks to deliver a more personal goodbye. He ended his announcement with his signature line, “Thanks for the company.”
According to the ALS Association, 5,600 Americans are diagnosed each year with the neurodegenerative disease. The average survival rate is three years, and with no known cure the disease leads to muscle weakness, impaired speaking, swallowing, and breathing in patients. It eventually causes paralysis and death.
The disease garnered much attention through the popularity of the “Ice Bucket Challenge” viral video, like the one Stogner shared.
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