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Stephan Hawking Defied the Odds for ALS

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News video: Stephan Hawking Defied the Odds for ALS

Stephen Hawking was given two years to live in 1963 and outlived his ALS prognosis by more than half a century.

At 21, the world-renowned physicist was diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease ALS.

โ€œAfter me expectations had been reduced to zero, every new day became a bonus and I began to appreciate everything I did have.โ€ Hawking stated.

ALS paralyzes victims by attacking motor nerve cells in the brain.

In 1985, a severe case of pneumonia took his remaining ability to speak.

But that didnโ€™t stop his incredibly successful career.

The Cambridge professor traveled to every continent, made groundbreaking discoveries on black holes, and even experienced weightlessness in a zero-gravity flight His best-selling books have educated millions of readers on outer space and the origins of the universe.

76-year-old Hawking passed away at his home in Cambridge England. On March 14, 2018.

In a statement to the Guardian, his family said, โ€œ[Our father] was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years.

He once said; โ€˜It would not be much of a universe if it wasnโ€™t home to the people you love.โ€™ We will miss him forever.โ€ Roughly 6,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year.

Most people with ALS live 2-5 years after symptoms develop and only about 5% of people with ALS live 20 years or more beyond their diagnosis..

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