One less battle for Florence’s Coach Mayfield to fight

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FLORENCE, Ala. - Construction crews spent Wednesday afternoon at Steve Mayfield's home in Florence Wednesday. However, they were getting started on a project that will likely light up your heart.

"The disease is progressing," Mayfield explained, "and all of our bedrooms are upstairs. People kept asking, 'what are you going to do when you can't get up the stairs anymore?'"

Mayfield is a familiar face to many in the Shoals. He was head football coach at Central High School and coached at Waterloo prior to that.

In 2006, Coach was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. He fought through that battle, but little did he know another one was right around the corner. In 2014, he was diagnosed with ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

As Mayfield slowly loses control of his hands and now his legs, the community has stepped in to show support.

"People started giving money," he smiled. "I couldn't believe the amount of money people gave, and we've got to the point where people had donated their time. All of the construction that's been done so far, people have just donated their time to do it."

Through a Gofundme account, the community was able to raise what it would take to build a bedroom, closet and bathroom downstairs.

"You know, you hear about the bad things going on all the time, but the people in this community are just amazing," he said. "Any time I'm feeling down, somebody will call or my friends will come pick me up and take me to eat or take me to the golf course and I'll ride around watch them play. There's always somebody there to pick me up."

They wanted to make sure that when the time comes where Coach cannot make it up to his bedroom, the stairs won't be another battle he has to fight.

"My background in athletics and coaching and playing basically is what prepared me to go through this, because we always talk about fighting through adversity and never giving up. The little things we take for granted, brushing our teeth and eating -- it's a real struggle now and you just have to keep fighting through it," Mayfield said.

Mayfield's wife Amy said any other donations raised will now be specifically earmarked in an account to help with Steve's expenses for treatment in the experimental clinical trial at Medical Center of the Carolinas in North Carolina.