8. He was diagnosed with ALS
Have you heard about the ALS ice bucket challenge? Perhaps you were one of many participants. But do you know what was it for?
ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. It is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. It is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.
Hawking was diagnosed with ALS when he was only 21 years old. First, it was hard for him to walk. He was using canes for a couple of years until he agreed to use a wheelchair. In 1985, Hawking contracted pneumonia. It was a life-threatening situation. In order to keep him alive, he had a tracheotomy. That was when he lost his voice.
In 2014, Hawking accepted the ALS ice bucket challenge. But because he has pneumonia, his children took it on his behalf.