For those unaware, he was a CFL star for a dozen years in the 1970's, early 1980's, the first nine with Montreal, the final 3 with BC's Lions. He stayed in the game after retirement as the colour guy on the CJAD broadcasts of the Alouettes games.
In a poignant story in the Regina Leader-Post earlier in the week, one of my favourite newspapermen, Ian Hamilton, writes about Mr. Proudfoot's valiant struggle with Lou Gehrig's disease.
Mr. Proudfoot was diagnosed a couple of years ago with the ailment, May 4, 2007 to be precise and, from the tone of the story, is about half way to the finish line. Ironically the disease started to manifest itself by disrupting Mr. Proudfoot's speech, the irony being he made his way in life as both a radio guy and as a lecturer in Montreal. It is also ironic that he made his bones as a member of the Als and will die of ALS.
ALS, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a disease of the nerve cells in the central nervous system that control movement. It leads to paralysis of the voluntary muscles and, eventually, death. The majority of sufferers succumb within four years of the initial diagnosis.
In addition to raising money and awareness for ALS, Mr. Proudfoot also is urging the medical community to look for a connection between football and Lou Gehrig's disease.
"Larry Uteck, a friend and teammate of mine on the Alouettes in the late '70s, died of ALS, and I have uncovered a total of eight former CFL players who have had this terrifying disease," he notes.