NEW ORLEANS -- It is a moment frozen in time, yet still generates the same raw emotion as it did that night, now seven years ago. Undrafted, Gleason succeeded for eight years with the Saints on heart and courage, but e now battles his ALS disease with the same relentless desire.
“I believe that continuing to live the life you love, despite adversity, is a critical element for everyone,” Gleason said.
Gleason recently met with football players from his old high school in Spokane, Wash., always reaching out to inspire, and we here at WWL-TV are teaming up with Gleason's foundation and our sister station in Spokane to form Project Inspire, which fosters stories to raise awareness of ALS and to highlight others that display the same kind of fortitude that Gleason displays every day.
Gleason and his foundation are focused on a cure, but also bettering a person's quality of life and doing so through technology, the kind of work they do here at the Gleason house at St. Margaret's.
Beginning this month a section of a senior living center in Mid-City will be home to as many as 18 ALS patients. The rooms are designed for patients to control the blinds, television, temperature and lights with their eyes. ALS robs a person of their motor skills, but not their eyes
“And he sees that now as a way, until there's a medicinal cure for this disease, Steve feels that technology is the best way in order for people with ALS to live a normal life,” said Mike Stanup.
Gleason’s other focus is on providing ALS patients with a once-in-a-lifetime wish or journey, with former teammate Scott Fujita. Gleason hiked 10 hours in the mountains of Peru, a continent away but the message never changes.
"But inspire others with ALS to say, well, if this person can get to the top of Macchu Piccu then I can get up today and get out of my bed and live my day like I want," said Gerald Duhon of Team Gleason.
To learn more about Project Inspire, and how to donate to Gleason and as his foundation, click here