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Saints title run puts the fight against ALS back in the national spotlight

Steve Gleason's No White Flags campaign will continue to change lives for decades or more

NEW ORLEANS — As we head into the NFC Championship, the NFL is focusing on a former Saints player who is known for his heroics off the field, just as much as for his accomplishments on the field.

Assistant U.S. Attorney, Jay Quinlan, is just one of the many people whose life has been touched and changed by former Saints player Steve Gleason. 

"The group has been a tremendous resource for me and Stephanie throughout the two and a half years we've been dealing with this diagnosis" Quinlan said. 

In the summer of 2016, Jay thought he had a compressed nerve in his left arm, but like Steve, he was told he has ALS. 

 "Oh, it was a death sentence," said Quinlan when asked what went through his mind when he got the unexpected news that he had ALS.  "Thankfully, thankfully since then, we've learned that it's not." 

Tuesday night Jay was featured in an NFL network documentary with Steve Gleason. It highlighted the ongoing No White Flags campaign by Team Gleason to make life better for people with ALS and other disabilities, and the efforts of U.S. Senator Dr. Bill Cassidy to win bipartisan support to award Gleason with the highest civilian honor given by Congress, the Congressional Gold Medal. Jay says Team Gleason helped get him a van, get information about the latest medications worldwide and learn how to retrofit his home for people with disabilities.

One day, he knows he'll benefit from Steve's work with Microsoft on communication technology.

"I'm not quite there where I need to have the communication devices. That's on my horizon, but for the last two-and-a-half years, the information council insight is where they've made a world of difference. I shutter to think where we'd be without it." 

It's help that he and his family benefits from every day.  

Jay says every day he goes on the Answer ALS app to take memory and movement tests to contribute to research.