Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel has been diagnosed and is receiving outpatient treatment for Guillain-Barré Syndrome, rare autoimmune disorder that causes paralysis.
The former University of Florida quarterback is the head of Desire Street Ministries, a Christian charity serving the poor in New Orleans.
According to the Mayo Clinic, Guillain-Barré allows the body's immune system to attack the nerves in response to infectious illness, such as a respiratory infection or a stomach flu, and can lead to paralysis.
Wuerffel noticed he was losing sensation in his legs and strength in his arms shortly after he battled a recent stomach virus.
Wuerffel's strength is currently half of what it was, according to his wife, Jessica.
"He's hanging in there," said Jessica. "It's a distressing situation but, to be honest, his faith is strong."
Wuerffel's faith has played a strong role in his positive outlook, according to several of his friends.
"Physically, the whole diagnosis is going to take a toll. But his spirit and his faith are very much intact and strong," said Barry Snyder, director of development for Desire Street Ministries. "We all go through physical struggles, and it's great to know that he's in God's hands while his body is not cooperating."
Wuerffel is expected to make a full recovery.