William White may not be a figure that is wholly recognizable to the run-of-the-mill football fan but the former Ohio State star played in the NFL for more than a decade and even appeared as a starter in Super Bowl XXXIII. However, White is in the news for less than optimal reasons, as he has been diagnosed with ALS or, as it is more commonly known, Lou Gehrig’s disease.

White’s diagnosis came in November and he recently spoke to the¬†The Daily Mail Online¬†about his battle with the disease. White reportedly went in for a physical in October when doctors noticed twitching in his arms. That led to x-rays, MRIs and other exams Dr. Adam Quick, who diagnosed White, according to the report.

Because they spotted the disease early into it’s progression, Dr Quick, a neurologist at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, recommended White consider starting edaravone (market name Radicava).

‘Edaravone is a free radical scavenger,’ Dr Quick told Daily Mail Online.

‘That means it eliminates or neutralizers free radicals in the blood. Free radicals are toxic molecules in the blood that are sometimes caused by tissue damage in the body.

‘It’s not perfect, but in trials it showed to slow down the progression of the participants who took it by an average of 33 percent more than in people who were taking a placebo.’

As noted above, White will be taking a drug called Edaravone in an effort to slow the effects of the disease, for which is there is no cure. On a positive note, White spoke about the desire and hope to play more golf if the drug takes hold in a positive way.

White stopped short of attributing the disease to his football career, even when prompted. He indicated that he had no regrets about his NFL career and his son, Brendon, is currently on the Ohio State campus as a member of the Buckeye football team. It is certainly tragic to think of anyone afflicted with this disease, but William White appears poised to battle it and, hopefully, the prescribed drug will help in that fight.

He is just 51 years old.

Former Super Bowl XXXIII starter shares the tragic news on his health Jed Jacobsohn / Getty Images
Rowland is a lifelong Atlanta sports fan that also grew up in a Michigan Wolverines household. He previously worked with FanSided, SB Nation and UPROXX sports and covers college football for FanBuzz.
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