WATCH LIVE: Steve Gleason, former Saint and ALS advocate, awarded Congressional Gold Medal today

Despite disease, Gleason is tireless advocate for ALS stricken

Thomas Perumean
January 15, 2020 - 5:26 am

Former New Orleans Saints player and ALS advocate Steve Gleason will receive the Congressional Gold Medal this afternoon at the US Capitol.  

Gleason was diagnosed with ALS in January 2011 and in the time since has helped over 15,000 people also dealing with the crippling disease with Team Gleason.  

"His life became one of meaning.  His body is paralyzed, but his spirit is more active than anybody I know," says Senator Bill Cassidy.  "Creating positive change for people with ALS but frankly for all of us."

Cassidy worked on the honor on the Senate side will Cedric Richmond and Steve Scalise made the push on the House side.  

The distinction is the highest honor Congress can bestow on a civilian and fewer than 200 have been a recipient.

"Jackie Robinson, Mother Theresa, people who not only make change spirit wise, but make change in the spirit of us all.  Steve Gleason is that sort of person.”

Gleason’s efforts have helped establish a database for thousands of ALS patients worldwide for researchers to access in an effort to combat the disease.  

Cassidy says Gleason has also worked with Microsoft to create communication tools.

"Congress has made this software and hardware available to all ALS patients through the Steve Gleason Give Them A Voice Act.  So his impact has been to work with Microsoft for something which helps preserve the dignity of communication for those with ALS.”

Steve is honored with a statue in front on the Superdome, commemorating his playing years and his passionate work since.  

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