State Rep. Vic Gilliam, afflicted with ALS, resigns

January 30, 2017 GMT

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — State Rep. Vic Gilliam has resigned two days before the start of Oregon’s legislative session.

The 63-year-old Silverton Republican has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Gilliam told his constituents more than a year ago he would step down if his symptoms worsened. He said Monday that several changes in life show it’s time to resign.

Gilliam was appointed to represent House District 18 in 2007.

House Republican Leader Mike McLane said a statement that Gilliam embodies what it means to be a public servant, and he has relied on Gilliam’s counsel, moral clarity and unfailing wit.

ALS is a progressive, fatal neurological disorder. The disease attacks the ability to voluntarily control muscles and people typically live three to five years after a diagnosis.