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May 12, 2022

Tim Green Featured in The Athletic Article on ALS Diagnosis and Battle, Careers, and Family Life

Tim Green, of counsel, was featured in The Athletic article “Tim Green Fought ALS Diagnosis Until It Nearly Killed Him, and Now He’s Fighting Back” about his ALS diagnosis in 2016, his various careers—defensive end for the Atlanta Falcons, author, broadcaster, TV show host, speaker, and, of course, Barclay Damon attorney—and his devotion to his family.

About his ALS diagnosis, Tim said, “I spent four years in denial.” He told himself his symptoms were manifestations of old football injuries. When a doctor diagnosed him with ALS in 2016, he said, “No I don’t.” In 2018, Tim was hospitalized with a double pulmonary embolism and almost died. He refused a tracheostomy until his son Troy spoke to him. Troy said, “We don’t need your body. We need your brain . . . your heart . . . your soul. That’s what we need, and we’re not ready to lose that.”

Although head trauma sustained from playing football is a risk factor for developing ALS, Tim doesn’t blame the sport. Playing football offered him the life he’d dreamt of since he was 10 years old. He played with the Atlanta Falcons for eight seasons, and as a result, he went on to spend 10 years as an NFL broadcaster with Fox Sports. In the early 2000s, Tim’s commentary during games spurred a phone call from the owner of the Atlanta Falcons, Arthur Blank. The two are now close friends, their families spending vacations together in the summer. Now they stay in touch via email, and the Green family goes down to Atlanta a few times a year for Falcons games. 

In addition to his football-related careers, Tim later hosted a reboot of “A Current Affair” and a few reality shows. He’s also a New York Times bestselling author. “His resume reads like five different people’s lives,” Troy said.   

Tim leads a fulfilling life. The article states, “He spends most mornings responding to emails . . . Later, he jumps on Microsoft Teams calls with the law firm . . . He carves out time in the afternoon to write, same as he always has.” Tim has authored more than 40 books, one of which he co-authored with baseball legend Derek Jeter, and after almost three years of writing, he just finished his memoir. 

A devoted father, Tim refers to his five children with his wife Illyssa as “our magnum opus.” The article states, “He’d drive the kids to school each morning, then show up two hours later and read to their class. When he coached his sons in football, he bought every player on the team new equipment.” 

Illyssa recalls that Tim shaved his head in support when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006 even though she didn’t need chemotherapy. “He called every doctor he could find and drove me to every single appointment himself.”

Tim’s slow-progressing form of ALS has afforded him more time with his friends and family, and he says he’s got plenty of fight left in him. He continues to fight on behalf of himself and of others with ALS through Tackle ALS, which has raised more than $5.5 million dollars for ALS research since its formation in 2019. 

Additionally, all proceeds from the sale of Tim’s most recent book, Final Season, will be donated to Massachusetts General Hospital to support ALS research. Click here to purchase a copy of Final Season

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