posted on June 18, 2013 at 12:19pm
By: Kevin Lincoln

From 2000–2006, Steve Gleason played defensive back for the New Orleans Saints.

From 2000–2006, Steve Gleason played defensive back for the New Orleans Saints.
Image by Tom Berg/NFLPhotoLibrary / Getty Images

Gleason mostly made his career as a reserve safety and special teamer, and there’s a statue outside the New Orleans Superdome commemorating a punt he blocked during the first Superdome game following Hurricane Katrina.

Gleason mostly made his career as a reserve safety and special teamer, and there's a statue outside the New Orleans Superdome commemorating a punt he blocked during the first Superdome game following Hurricane Katrina.
Image by Gerald Herbert / AP

In 2011, Gleason announced he’d been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Since then, he’s been active in the New Orleans community as an advocate for ALS sufferers. He has lost nearly all of his motor functions.

In 2011, Gleason announced he'd been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig's disease. Since then, he's been active in the New Orleans community as an advocate for ALS sufferers. He has lost nearly all of his motor functions.
Image by Gerald Herbert, File / AP
That’s the setup. This is the story: Because of his disease — a diagnosis of ALS usually results in death after three to five years — Gleason communicates via a computer that he controls by blinking. And he wrote an essay about his disease and his family via the same means, which Sports Illustrated’s Peter King ran as his column this week. It’s emotionally touching, and it’s intellectually impressive in its analysis of what science can and can’t offer us as people. It’s worth reading in full.
Read the whole story via Buzzfeed 

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