WWE and WCW legend Big Van Vader is wrestling with congestive heart failure, breaking the sad news to his legion of supportive fans.
The 61-year-old former world heavyweight champion says his heart has worn out from years of wrestling and football: “[I was] told by two heart doctors, at this time, that my heart is worn out from football and wrestling. I have two years to live, congestive heart failure reality.”
In a second tweet, he admitted to only now coming to terms with the prognosis, saying “I am only now allowing this as part of my reality.”
Hundreds of people have expressed their condolences to Vader (real name Leon White), including current WWE Raw General Manager – and hardcore legend – Mick Foley. “Leon is dying. He has been told by doctors that he may have less than two years left to live,” Foley wrote on Facebook on Tuesday. “His legacy is so important to him, and he has told me that being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame would mean so much on both a personal and professional level.”
Before venturing into the world of wrestling, Vader played two seasons with the Los Angeles Rams and even made it to the Super Bowl. The retired wrestler strung together a legendary grappling career, becoming an icon in North America and Japan, and crossing over to television with appearances on “Boy Meets World” and “Baywatch”.