Ex-WSU Cougar Steve Gleason honored by Congress for ALS work



After his ALS diagnosis, Gleason started the Team Gleason foundation to lend support for those with the disease and to raise awareness while attempting to find a cure, according to the Stephen Michael Gleason Congressional Gold Medal Act.

"We as a country, and more appropriately, we as a global species face enormous challenges in the coming decades of the 21st century, "Gleason said at the ceremony".

"If we can keep exploring, share our weaknesses with each other and compassionately collaborate to solve problems, our human potential is boundless".

But, Drew says Steve was nothing but positive despite the tragic news. saying he told the Saints QB he was going to live until he was 109 years old!

Saints quarterback Drew Brees and his son, Baylen; Saints owner Gayle Benson; NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell; and former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue were among those in attendance. Gleason has used the technology to communicate, post messages on social media, address lawmakers from around the world and give motivational speeches to athletes.

Gleason received the Congressional Gold Medal at noon PST on January 15 in the United States Capitol in Statuary Hall.

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The medal features Gleason in a Saints jersey. Images of a mountain and the forest pay homage to his native state of Washington.

On the field, the former National Football League player was perhaps best known for blocking a punt in the opening minutes of the Saints first game back in their renovated stadium following the destruction of Hurricane Katrina. The city was still rebuilding from the devastating hurricane when Gleason dove to block a punt in the opening minutes of the game against their rival.

The play has been memorialized by a bronze statue entitled "Rebirth", on a public plaza surrounding the Superdome.

Gleason, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2011, speaks through groundbreaking speech-generating technology that allows him to type words on a tablet through eye movements.

"Talk about feeling undeserving!"

Former NFL player Steve Gleason has received the Congressional Gold Medal - the highest civilian honor bestowed by Congress - for his work as an advocate for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. The list of past winners is filled with enlightened and powerful giants of humanity. "Not even elected officials, National Football League players or even the most holy saints", Gleason said after receiving the honor. Gleason, 42, said in a statement.

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