Man with ALS making 'one last trip' to Super Bowl
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - When I walked into his living room to meet Kevin Clay, his smile hooked me like a fishing hook.
The positive spirit that beams from Kevin might come as a surprise when you find out he's bound to a wheelchair and unable to talk.
In June of 2014, Kevin was diagnosed with ALS and has since slowly lost the use of different parts of his body.
ALS is considered a terminal disease, but you won't see sorrow or sadness on Kevin's face. Instead, you see the smile that stretches almost around his head.
Kevin is Super Bowl bound along with the Carolina Panthers.
"In the words of Peyton Manning, this is my last rodeo," Kevin typed out the statement on his phone because he can't use his voice, but he follows it up with a laugh and that same infectious smile.
Kevin has owned a PSL for the last 20 years, and considers himself a super fan of the Panthers. In fact, his 1-year-old son "Cam" is named after the one and only.
The Joe Martin ALS Foundation has made all the travel arrangements to send Kevin and his wife Melinda to the big game in Santa Clara.
"This season is magical and the Panthers will make history," Kevin wrote in a post on his Facebook page, "Go Panthers, never in doubt. If you believe, you can achieve."
Kevin's positive attitude in the face of a degenerative disease isn't new, and it doesn't surprise anyone who knows him well. Kevin's father also had ALS and was bitter about the illness, Kevin said.
He's chosen to live his life to the fullest. That bit of "living" includes seeing the Panthers take home the Lombardi trophy next Sunday.
I asked Kevin how he'd feel if we do in fact bring home a win. "Unbelievable and magical," he typed... again, with a smile as bright as the lights at the big game.
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