NBA Hall of Fame point guard Tiny Archibald has reportedly announced that he doesn’t have much time to live.
The news is sobering and grim, but the veteran pro athlete seems to remain proactive in his health despite the hand he’s been dealt.
“Everyone around me kept dying,” Archibald says. “And they were all younger than me.”
The stats weren’t what prompted the star to check his own health. For him, according to ESPN, the decision was far more personal.
Archibald wasn’t prepared for his diagnosis, as he felt confident that he was safe from any major health issues other than an Achilles tear, a separated shoulder and arthroscopic surgery on both knees … injuries amassed during his 14-year career with the NBA.
But at age 68, he decided to get a free screening courtesy of the National Basketball Players Association in December 2016.
“So I decided to go in,” the Hall of Famer says. “I’m thinking, ‘OK, ordinary, routine blood work.’ I came out in shock mode.”
Archibald’s tests revealed he had amyloidosis, an incurable heart condition.
“What I have is really rare,” he told ESPN. “There’s no pills, nothing they have found that works. I’m being tested all the time, just hoping, you know? My [heart] could go any minute. But I’m not ready for that. I want to be around for a long time.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, the illness occurs when amyloid protein (an abnormal protein produced in bone marrow) builds up in tissue and/or organs. In Archibald’s case, the protein was deposited in his heart, which reduces its ability to fill with blood in between heartbeats.
Read more on Archilbald’s story at ESPN.