I'd never heard of him, but I thought I'd share his story today since he is such an inspiration!
According to Wikipedia, Brigance played college football at Rice University, and after graduating, began his pro career as a linebacker in the CFL with the B.C. Lions in 1991. In 1996, Brigance was signed by the Miami Dolphins as a free agent. He was twice voted a team captain during his 4 seasons there and his teammates named him Ed Block Courage Award recipient in 1999. In addition, he was honored with the NFL Player Association's "Unsung Hero Award" that same season.
The next year, he was signed by the Baltimore Ravens.
Brigance was a key contributor to the Ravens' championship-winning team as he finished second on the team with 25 special teams tackles and led the team with 10 special teams tackles in the post-season.
Brigance was an exceptional football player, and remains an exceptional human being. In May 2007, he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (better known as Lou Gehrig's disease), an eventually fatal motor neuron disease. The life expectancy is three to five years.
A Newsday article reports that Brigance continues to work full-time for the Ravens (as the Senior Advisor of Player Development) and regularly interacts with players, coaches and team officials. According to the article, not a single member of the organization hasn't been touched in some way by this former linebacker and special-teams ace.
Through his computerized voice device, Brigance said, "Congratulations to the Baltimore Ravens. Your resiliency has outlasted your adversity. You are AFC champions. You are my mighty men. With God, all things are possible."
As an inspiration to others, Brigance says, "I realize that what I am enduring now is not only for my development but to also be able to help those dealing with the same issues," he said. "I am blessed to have the opportunity to serve God in this current state." Among other inspirational endeavors, he has created a foundation to assist ALS research called the "Brigance Brigade".
Brigance is persevering against the odds, as well as helping others! Who has inspired you lately?
Thanks for visiting and have a great week!