Former Illinois Comptroller and longtime state Sen. Dawn Clark Netsch says she's suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease.
The disease, also known as ALS, is a fatal degenerative disorder that weakens the nerves and makes it difficult to walk, swallow and speak.
Netsch tells WMAQ-TV that the diagnosis is "a tough one." She says she's talking about her disease because it might get more people thinking about ALS.
Although she sometimes needs assistance to walk, Netsch is continuing her work on two state ethics commissions.
The Illinois Democrat was elected state comptroller in 1990. She helped rewrite the Illinois Constitution in 1970 and shortly after was elected to the state senate, where she served for 18 years.
In 1994, Netsch ran unsuccessfully for Illinois governor.