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Saturday, April 2, 2011
William Perry's health improving

By Sahadev Sharma
Special to ESPNChicago.com

Former Chicago Bear William "The Refrigerator" Perry claims to be in much better health after suffering a relapse of Guillain-Barre syndrome two years ago.

Perry, who says he was barely walking as recently as this January, says he is able to run at times now and is working out regularly.

"I was coming back really slowly, but it's picking up and I'm getting around, back out in the world instead of locked up in the house," Perry said as he signed autographs for fans at McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago. Perry, at times, still uses a motorized scooter to get around, but the fact that he's walking more often is major progress.

Perry also discussed the tragic passing of his former teammate Dave Duerson, who committed suicide in February.

"He was a great guy, a great teammate, and a great player," Perry said of Duerson. "It was just wonderful being around and associated with him."

Duerson believed he suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy caused by the numerous hits to the head he took playing professional football. But as far as worrying about if he may be suffering from any post-concussion issues, Perry seemed unconcerned, laughing as he said, "I think I gave enough concussions, but I don't think I received none."

Perry recently admitted to being an alcoholic, but now says he no longer drinks. He also proclaims to not have diabetes or high blood pressure and says he doesn't take medications for either ailment.

Perry looks to be much healthier than the stick of a man he was a few years ago, when he was hovering around 200 pounds. He says his weight is a much more Fridge-like 290 pounds, which is a little more svelte than the reported 400-plus pounds he was carrying just six months ago.

"I'm just making progress," Perry said, "and I'm happy [my life] is going in the right direction."

Sahadev Sharma is a regular contributor to ESPNChicago.com.