Fmr. football coach Jim Angsten battles Lou Gehrig's disease - KMSP-TV

Fmr. football coach Jim Angsten battles Lou Gehrig's disease

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Jim Angsten has compared playing football in Chicago's Catholic League to a street fight. He coached at St. Rita for 20 years. However now, Angsten's in a real battle literally fighting for his life.

"Study hard, test tomorrow...and test on Tuesday," said Angsten.

Jim Angsten teaches health classes at St. Rita from his desk chair...a frustrating reality of his ongoing battle with ALS.

"I can't walk real long...that's the nature of the disease...it kicks your butt," Angsten said.

That's hard to admit for the long time defensive coordinator of the mustangs, who clings to memories of his successful career

"Great championships...great individual efforts...not necessarily the big games. It's more the people- them letting me get into their lives and make a difference," said Angsten.

"He demanded a lot…every day as a new challenge," said former player John Schmitt.

"What keeps you going...I just choose life…great wife, 3 great kids and 9 grand kids [that are] the apple of my eye. Need I say more?," Angsten said.

Outside of his personal family, St. Rita has been Angsten's family for the last 36 years. He's taught and coached thousands of students, touching their lives in ways he never imagined.

"When you say you make a difference...pretty good stuff," Angsten added.

There is no cure for Lou Gehrig's disease; just one pill a day, a doctor visit every three months and the sheer will to keep on living.

"I woke up this morning...that's a great thing, you know what I mean? I'm known as a fighter...ALS has got its hands full," said Angsten.

There is no cure for Lou Gehrig's disease, but coach Angsten will have over a thousand of his friends supporting him at a benefit on Saturday at St. Rita.

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