By Laura Stampler
January 28, 2015

When longtime North Carolina news anchor Larry Stogner participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge last summer, he didn’t yet know that he was one of the 30,000 Americans who suffer from the neurological disease.

“I am sure that in recent months, you’ve noticed a change in my voice, my speech slower,” the anchor at ABC affiliate WTVD said in a touching broadcast last Friday. “Many of you were kind enough to email me ideas about what it might be, or just to show concern, and I truly appreciate that. As it turns out, I have ALS, Lou Gehrig’s Disease.”

After almost four decades reporting the news, Stogner announced his retirement, telling viewers, “We have to stop meeting this way.”

After a vacation with his wife, Stogner will be back in two weeks to talk on-air with his colleagues and say a more formal goodbye.

Read next: Here’s What’s Happening With the Ice Bucket Challenge Money

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Write to Laura Stampler at laura.stampler@time.com.

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