BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Lance McCullough was diagnosed with ALS in 2009.
He decided he was going to live with ALS, not die from it.
Part of living for McCullough is coaching football at Garces Memorial High School.
“I love being a part of young men’s lives and encouraging them to move to the next level in life. It’s not that we’re building young athletes, we’re building young men to go outside and be productive. It blesses my life to be able to do it,” said McCullough.
ALS stands for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gherig’s disease.
“ALS is a horrible disease that takes every part of your body and shuts it down. It’s just a terrible disease, but I’ve decided I’m going to live with ALS not die from it,” McCullough said.
Over the past ten years, McCullough has lost the use of his hands and legs.
At times he has difficulty talking, but he hasn’t let it keep him from the sidelines.
“That is a big part of living. If I didn’t have coaching, I don’t know how I would be,” McCullough said.
“Making someone better and making them want to be a better person every day is what we as human beings should want to be around, that’s coach McCullough. You surround yourself with positive people and you’re going to become positive,” said Cody Stone, a Garces coach.
ALS is his battle on the field.
“It’s honestly inspirational. It’s just cool to see him take time to come out here and be with us. He’s a great guy. We all love him,” said Peter Delis, Punter/Kicker for Garces.
“I’m glad that I’ve been able to coach kids for the last 15 years because it’s been a big part of who I am. I love giving back to the community and I think it’s important because these kids do so much for me without even asking and that means a lot to me,” McCullough said.
Not only is McCullough passionate about kids and football, he is also pasionate about raising awarness for ALS.
Each year he particpates in the Walk to Defeat ALS.
McCullough said awareness is key to finding a cure and he will do what he can to help raise that awareness.