HOUSTON, TX - Former Rice and NFL Super Bowl champion, O.J. Brigance marked the 11th year of life during a "Celebration of Courage" at Rice University on Saturday, May 5th. The former Baltimore Ravens linebacker learned he had Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS in May 2007. At this time, there is no cure for the motor neuron disease most commonly called Lou Gehrig's disease. Brigance has endured this debilitating disease with courage, faith, and humility.
Only 10 percent of those with ALS live 10 years beyond the diagnosis, which underscores why Brigance and his wife, Chanda, celebrate every moment. Brigance has defeated the odds, living 11 years after his initial diagnosis when his own doctors told him 4. His wife Chanda has been there every step of the way, along with family, support staff, and friends.
“While the disease has robbed me of many physical capabilities, my mind remains sharp and my will unbreakable, " said Brigance. ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease, affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord and can totally silence a body of great professional athletic stature.
Brigance currently works for the Baltimore Ravens as a Senior Advisor to player engagement. He communicates with his eye-controlled communication system, and his faith is as strong as the words he delivers through his device.
Brigance's Foundation hosted a "Celebration fo Courage" last Saturday, which helped raise awareness and funds for families that need financial support.