NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Former Tennessee Titan Tim Shaw battled on the football field every Sunday in two-toned blue. Now, he’s facing a different battle.
Three years ago Shaw was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosism, or ALS. He’s now lost control of his body.
“I can recall the feeling of deep down despair,” Shaw said. “Like, ‘this cannot be. This just cannot be.’”
Since the diagnosis, Tim’s father has been there with him every step of the way.
“It affects walking. It affects speech,” John Shaw said. “It affects fine motor skills. That’s the hardest for Tim. He’s lost all his strength.”
One thing Tim has not lost is his ability to inspire others just like he did when he played for the Titans.
After coming to terms with his diagnosis, Shaw spent some time reflecting.
“I had to ask myself some tough questions,” he said. “What do I want if I am gone tomorrow? What do I want left behind?”
The awards and medals that line his bookshelf will be there. The name he made for himself as a football player for the Titans and Penn State will also be around. However, Shaw wants more than that.
“Once I answered those questions it was really east for me to figure out what I wanted to do,” he said. “I wanted to impact people.”
“My goal is to inspire people to blitz their own life. To go for it and to make the most if it,” he said.
Even through his diagnosis, Shaw wants to live life full speed and live a meaningful life. He relates his battle to the Titans’ last season.
“The thing that I saw this year more than anything is we learned how to win,” Shaw said.
Shaw was a big part of the Titans this year even though he did not put on pads. He was named a ‘Titan for Life’ and was the Titans’ 12th Man at one of the games.
Shaw said he wants everyone to learn how to win. He’s showing everyone that he is winning by sharing his story and inspiring others.
He offered one final piece of advice.
“You just have to be yourself and be the best you that you can be.”