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Former Cal fullback Eric Stevens has been diagnosed with ALS

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Tragic news for a former Cal captain.

California v Ohio State Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Former Cal fullback Eric Stevens received some tragic news as he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Having become a firefighter, Stevens and his friends and family are fighting to raise awareness about ALS with #axeALS and a Facebook page to track their journey.

A captain of the Cal Berkeley football team, professional football player for the St. Louis Rams, and now a Los Angeles City firefighter, Eric was getting married to the woman of his dreams, Amanda. They were excited to start a family and their new life together with their dog Duke. But exactly one month after their wedding day, Eric was diagnosed with ALS at the age of 29. The diagnosis and subsequent education they received about the horrific disease was the worst news one could ever imagine.

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Given his strong determination and success in anything he puts his mind to, Eric has chosen to fight and advocate for getting drugs and treatments available to patients NOW. Eric’s goal with the help of his family and friends, is to raise awareness for ALS and act now toward getting treatments available.

Join us and Team Stevens Nation to #axeALS!!

Throughout a career with the California Golden Bears that spanned 2008–2012, Stevens served as lead-blocker for running backs like Shane Vereen, Isi Sofele, CJ Anderson, and Brendan Bigelow. As a Bear, Stevens was a candidate for the Burlsworth Trophy (awarded to the nation’s best player who started as a walk-on) and won two team awards as a senior—the Senior Lifter of the Year and the Joe Roth Award (recognizing “the player best exemplifying courage, attitude and sportsman ship”). As a fullback and special-teams contributor, Stevens played in 35 games with 10 starts and graduated with a degree in legal studies, then briefly joined his brother (former Cal tight end Craig Stevens) in the NFL.

ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disease that causes weakening and loss of control of muscles. It famously led to the Ice Bucket Challenge a few years ago (fulfilled by then–chancellor Nicholas Dirks and then–interim athletic director Mike Williams). Although there are treatments and significant research in the field (which benefited from the Ice Bucket Challenge), there is currently no cure.

You can visit the Team Stevens Facebook page to support Eric, follow his journey, and raise awareness for ALS; you can also donate to his GoFundMe page, which “will be linked directly to Eric’s trust for his care.”