Roger Childs is the feature of the first “Live for the Moment,” premiering Thursday, Jan. 28 at 8 p.m on CBS.
Childs is currently suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
He tells Zap2it that his initial diagnosis was a case of what a lot of people do — experiencing a symptom and looking it up online — then thinking, “Surely it’s not that.” Except in this case, he says, “It was pretty much our worst fear.”
ALS is a progressive, fatal motor-neuron disease that eventually causes patients to lose control of most voluntary motor functions. Often patients are completely paralyzed before succumbing to the disease. Childs relays how the doctor told him very coldly, “You have two to five years to live, get your affairs in order” and that the process is “brutal.” However, Childs and his family are thankful for his condition’s slow progression. Others are not as lucky. Childs says, “I have a good friend who was almost fully paralyzed in less than two years.”
“Live for the Moment” was Childs’ chance to do exactly that — live for today. In the premiere episode, the audience will see him watch a shuttle launch, dangle out of a helicopter in a gunner’s belt and reunite with an old friend in Colorado for snowmobiling and heli-skiing.
He tells us what the disease made him realize. “I need to do all the things that I always wanted to do. I know what Lou Gehrig was talking about when he gave his famous speech about being the luckiest man in the world because this frame of mind seems to be only achievable in the face of such dire news.”
Childs also says that he and host/producer Jeff Probst want the message to be one of “inspiration and optimism and that you really have to live for the moment. We want it to lift them up.”
Speaking of Jeff Probst, we informed Childs that Zap2it’s “Survivor” fans would be upset if we didn’t ask him about Probst and Childs had this to say: “He was absolutely phenomenal. He has taken our boys under his wing, he calls himself their honorary uncle. We honestly will cherish his friendship for our whole lives, it’s really that special. Really, really awesome guy.”
Check out Roger Childs’ amazing story and adventures on Thursday, Jan. 28 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
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Photo credit: CBS