News presenter with ALS makes heartbreaking retirement announcement on air

Larry Stogner has been presenting the six o'clock news on North Carolina station ABC11 since 1976.

In a heartbreaking message last week, he announced that he was being forced to retire after a diagnosis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or Motor Neurone Disease.

"I am sure that in recent months, you’ve noticed a change in my voice, my speech slower," the newsreader said.

"Many of you were kind enough to email me ideas about what it might be, or just to show concern, and I truly appreciate that.

"As it turns out I have ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease.

"There is no cure. My career in broadcast journalism is coming to an end. I am blessed to have had the best job in the world."

ALS is also known as Motor Neurone Disease and came to international attention during the Ice Bucket Challenge craze last summer. Just five months before his diagnosis, Stogner took part in the challenge himself.

In July 2013, beloved Irish broadcaster Colm Murray passed away at the age of 61, following his battle with the disease. The average survival rate for the disease is just three or four years.

To donate to the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association, visit their website here.

By Ciara Flaherty

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