Former New Orleans Saints special teams standout and current ALS patient Steve Gleason can't help but wonder whether his football career contributed to his debilitating and ultimately fatal neuromuscular disease. Yet Gleason still loves the game and has found the NFL and its players to be willing partners in his effort to improve the lives of those with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. The Super Bowl is the site of one of the first events held by his foundation, Team Gleason. The 34-year-old Gleason, famous for blocking a punt on the night the Superdome reopened for the first time since Hurricane Katrina, is joining two other ALS patients at the game. They also planned to attend related events, such as the NFL Players Association party over the weekend. Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, a former Saints teammate of Gleason, helped organize the event. Many thousands of people who have ALS never had concussions and never played contact sports, so Team Gleason is less about investigating whether football is linked to ALS than it is about helping people who have to live with the disease," said Fujita, who had an uncle who died from ALS. "It's really about promoting technologies that help ALS patients feel valuable, survive and thrive in the process."
Via ALS Research News