Dominic Massa / Eyewitness News
NEW ORLEANS – Steve Gleason and Jay Rink, two south Louisiana sports heroes both now battling ALS, will prove this weekend that they are up for any challenge, when they take a 5-day canoe trip tracing a path taken by two other legendary adventurers: Lewis and Clark.
On Saturday, Gleason, the former Saints safety, and Rink, a Tulane University and Brother Martin High School star athlete, will board a 34-foot voyageur canoe for the trip, which will begin in Great Falls, Montana.
The Gleason Initiative Foundation, a fundraising group established by Gleason and his family to raise money and awareness of ALS, is funding the adventure trip for Gleason, Rink and Rink’s two sons.
Rink was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, in 2010. Gleason was diagnosed the next year. Both men have inspired people across the country in their fight against the disease, and their efforts to turn the challenge into a positive and an inspiration for family, friends, colleagues, and fellow patients.
Paddling alongside Gleason, Rink and Rink’s two sons will be several members of Team Gleason, the organization founded to provide information about Gleason’s illness and share his inspiring story. Team Gleason supports The Gleason Initiative Foundation, which is funding the canoe trip.
The trip will be filmed and footage will air during an HBO Real Sports segment featuring Gleason.