Bill Lyon has done it again, striking a chord with readers.
Soon after the legendary retired Inquirer sports columnist disclosed he is battling Alzheimer's disease in a piece posted on Philly.com Saturday, and slated for publication in the Sunday Inquirer, a torrent of support from readers followed.
Lyon's column, "My Alzheimer's fight: Never, ever quit," has been shared on Twitter and Facebook, and emailed from friend to family.
Online, commenters wrote in to celebrate the sportswriter, to cheer on his fight, and to thank him for sharing his experience.
"I come to this website each and every day to read about the heroes, the great competitors," one reader wrote. "I've just realized who stands at the very front of that line."
The piece is the first in a series of five that will run Sundays in the Currents section of the Inquirer through July 3. Lyon will continue writing occasional pieces after that.
"My hope is that the columns will be cathartic," he wrote, "and perhaps be of some help to anyone else who's going down this same long and winding road."
Several commenters wrote in simply to thank Lyon:
"A class act," said one.
"One of the greatest sports writers of all time," said another.
Bill "Lion" Lyon, one called him.
"Nobody ever did it better," another said.
"There's only one Bill Lyon," a commenter agreed.
Some readers shared their own stories.
"I've had two grandparents with very late-stage" Alzheimer's, one wrote, "and I would like to commend you for sharing your story and somehow finding humor in such a dark tragedy."
"I look forward to your series and I hope you can write for another 20 years."
Another reader wrote about watching a grandmother fight the disease: "She used humor and hillbilly music and some pretty colorful language to somehow keep Al [what Lyon calls Alzheimer's] on the ropes." The reader went on to tell Lyon: "There are thousands of us on your side."
That was clear Saturday as readers wrote in to support Lyon.
"Looking forward to your future articles," one wrote.
"Never give up. Keep writing. Keep fighting. Keep living," wrote another.
"I suspect the forthcoming columns will be your greatest ever," one reader responded. "You are a hero and a winner. … Do it Bill, do it!"