In my life, many of my dreams have come true.
Being an NFL player was a childhood dream. It came true when I was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in 1986 and played in the NFL for eight years. I earned a law degree during that time and became a TV football announcer for Fox Sports. Football paid for my own education and my kids’; it opened doors in writing, business, television and law. Football built our family home on a beautiful lake and paid for land for our kids to build their own homes nearby.
My second childhood dream was to become a writer. Since the third grade, I’ve thought books are magic. They take me away to another time and place, they make me laugh and cry, and in their heroes I see something I want to be. So, I started to make magic of my own, and this dream came true for me, too. I have written 40 novels for kids and adults.
In 2016, I was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). One of my first symptoms was the loss of strength and coordination in my fingers. As a writer who typed every day for 35 years, I was loath to let the disease take writing away from me. At that time, I could text on my smartphone. So, I wrote a 300-page novel with my thumbs. When my thumbs went the way of my fingers, I typed with technology that used the motion of my eyes and head to type, and I wrote another book.
Since 2017, Merit Cudkowicz, MD, and her team of experts at the Sean M. Healey & AMG Center for ALS at Mass General have provided me with outstanding care that has helped to slow the progression of the disease, allowing me to fight back hard against ALS and live my life to the fullest. To help support Merit and the remarkable work being done at Mass General, I donate money through TACKLE ALS and spend my time meeting with various ALS groups and other families affected by ALS. I will also be donating all of the proceeds from my latest book, Final Season, a deeply personal story based on my ALS diagnosis and how my family faced it together.
Now, I have a new dream that someday, Merit and her colleagues will find a cure for ALS. While I may not see that dream come to fruition during my own lifetime, I will continue to write for my readers — and for myself — and to give back.
Tim Green is generously donating proceeds from the sale of his book, Final Season, to Massachusetts General Hospital through Tackle ALS to support ALS research and treatment efforts at the Sean M. Healey & AMG Center for ALS.
Tim Green, Mass General patient and donor, with his family