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NBA broadcaster Ernie Johnson announces death of son Michael, 33

Michael had Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a genetic disorder characterized by progressive muscle degeneration.
/ Source: TODAY

NBA broadcaster Ernie Johnson is mourning the loss of his son Michael Johnson.

The Turner Sports broadcaster shared the news on Instagram on Friday, saying that his son, who had Duchenne muscular dystrophy, had passed away that day at the age of 33.

"This guy we adopted from Romania in 1991 and diagnosed with duchenne muscular dystrophy lived a miraculous life of 33 years," Johnson posted, sharing a picture of his son. "We lost michael johnson today and we’re crushed. But we also know we’ll see him again…and that sustains us."

Johnson also shared the news of his son's passing on Twitter, saying he and his family were grateful for the time they had with Michael.

"We are grieving and at the same time so grateful for having been witnesses to a miraculous 33 years with michael," he wrote.

Johnson, best known for hosting "Inside the NBA" on TNT, and his wife, Cheryl, adopted Michael in 1991 from Romania. The couple have six children, including Michael, whose muscle weakness from his disease caused him to use a wheelchair for mobility and a ventilator to breathe.

According to the Mayo Clinic, Duchenne muscular dystrophy is the most common form of muscular dystrophy and is more prevalent in boys than girls. The disease often presents itself in early childhood and progresses to include delayed growth and muscle weakness, eventually causing difficulty with walking and breathing. There is no known cure for the condition, though life expectancy has increased with new developments in cardiac and respiratory care, according to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

In August, Johnson honored his son on Instagram with a post celebrating his birthday.

"From a Romanian orphanage to the Johnson family," he posted. "Today celebrating Michael’s 33rd birthday."

The sports community rallied around Johnson after the announcement of the news of Michael's death.

"The NBA mourns the passing of Michael Johnson, the son of Turner Sports’ Ernie Johnson. Michael was admired by so many around the league for his remarkable courage and perseverance. We send our heartfelt condolences to Ernie, Cheryl and their family during this difficult time," posted the NBA on Twitter.

"Our hearts and thoughts go out to Ernie Johnson (@TurnerSportsEJ) and his entire family as they mourn the loss of Ernie's son, Michael," tweeted Fox Sports: MLB.

In 2017, "E60," an ESPN program, shared a video on Twitter of Johnson taking his son to the Atlanta International Auto Show.

"In telling his story, we learned Ernie Johnson is many things: beloved TV host, Emmy winner, doting husband- but to Michael, he's just dad," said the video's narrator.