Former Senate leader Marc Basnight acknowledges in an interview with the N.C. Coastal Federation that he has Lou Gehrig's disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a fatal neuromuscular disease.
Basnight was the state's most powerful senator for nearly two decades. He won re-election in 2010, but resigned his seat before the session started and Democrats began their new existence as the minority party.
Basnight, a Manteo Democrat, had been diagnosed a few years earlier with a degenerative nerve disease that left him unsteady on his feet and his speech slowed.
He said he said in January 2011 that he was resigning for health reasons, but said that his doctors had not identified his disease.