Jul 05, 2012
This news article was taken from The Chronicle of Winston-Salem, NC printed on Thursday, June 21, 2012.
Football legend helping son sidelined by MS
Men’s Health Network and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society are shining the spotlight on a football legend this month, which happens to be Men’s Health Month.
Pro Football Hall of Famer, Earl Campbell has been called “the greatest player that ever suited up” by former Oklahoma Sooner and Dallas Cowboys Coach Barry Switzer. The Heisman Trophy winner rushed for more than 1,000 yards in five of his first six seasons in the NFL and played in five Pro Bowls. At his best in the NFL, Campbell ran for 1,934 yards, the second best rushing performance in pro football at that time. Known as “Unstoppable” on the football field, Campbell ran into a challenge off the field when his son Tyler was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2007 at the age of 19. Tyler had followed in his father’s footsteps and was a running back at San Diego State when he was diagnosed. While Tyler had to give up the dream of playing football professionally, with the support and encouragement of his dad, Tyler has gone on to accomplish a lot in his young life, including graduating with a business degree and marrying his college sweetheart, Shana.
According to the National MS Society, multiple sclerosis (or MS) is a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system. There are at least 400,000 people in the U.S. living with the disease and every hour, someone is newly diagnosed. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS are unpredictable and vary from one person to another; they can range from mild, such as numbness in the limbs to more severe, such as paralysis or loss of vision. With his dad by his side, Tyler has become an active ambassador for the National MS Society and is passionate about raising awareness for the disease to help bring us closer to a world free of multiple sclerosis.
“I view my MS diagnosis as a blessing,” Tyler said. I now have the opportunity to share my experience to help others living with the disease and make an impact on the MS community.”
Earl is encouraging his son with each step in his journey and supports his efforts to find a cure. Campbell and Warner Bros. have released the “The Unstoppable Earl Campbell Fine Art Lithograph,” a piece that has Earl back on the field alongside the famous Looney Tunes characters. The numbered limited editions are personally signed by Earl, and a portion of every sale goes to support the National MS Society. For more information and to view the art, visit www.theunstoppableearlcampbell.org. “As a father, I am proud to rally behind my son and join his fight to find a cure,” Earl Campbell said.