The Jamaican government is committing just over US$30,000 towards the medical expenses of former Jamaica footballer Luton Shelton, who has revealed that he is suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, causes the death of neurons controlling voluntary muscles. This results in worsening weakness due to muscles decreasing in size, and triggering difficulty speaking, swallowing, and eventually breathing.
Shelton’s story became public when Television Jamaica promoted a feature to be aired October 18. The story has since gone viral on social media and subsequently caught the attention of the sports minister who is in France on government business.
“I have been made aware of Luton’s illness through the social media. No one has been directly in touch with me but based on what I have seen, I am concerned and I am committing J$5million towards his medical expenses,” the minister said.
“I will ask the officers in the ministry to reach out to his family so I can get further details.”
Shelton, 32, has made 75 appearances for Jamaica between 2003 and 2014, scoring 35 goals.
Shelton made his debut as an 18-year-old for Harbour View Football Club in the Jamaican premier league and represented the club until 2006 when he departed for Sweden to represent Helsingborgs IF.
After a year, he joined Sheffield United in the English Championships.
He also played for Vålerenga, Karabükspor, and Volga Nizhny Novgorod between 2008 and 2015 before returning to Harbour View in 2017 when he became ill. (www.sportsmax.tv)