Three years ago, most assumed that Steve Gleason’s ALS diagnosis would be a footnote to the most memorable play in Saints’ history. Now, Gleason’s blocked punt that reopened the Superdome a year after a hurricane ravaged New Orleans could be the footnote to a much bigger legacy.
Gleason has become a powerful and effective advocate against ALS, raising money and launching initiatives aimed at fighting a disease that gradually shuts down the body while never touching the mind. As explained by Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Gleason has taken on his most ambitious project yet.
On Thursday, Gleason’s foundation announced Answer ALS, calling it “the single largest effort to end ALS in the history of the disease.”
It’s a major undertaking, and Gleason doesn’t flinch in the face of it. He embraces it.
“[W]e are appealing to large investors, Fortune 500 leaders, and the world’s wealthiest individuals to be part of ridding the world of ALS, and hopefully other diseases along with it,” Gleason said at the press conference announcing the event. “ALS has quietly affected and quickly taken away hundreds of thousands of people over the years. We can stop this.
“Muhammad Ali once said, ‘Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in a world they’ve been given than to explore the power that they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare.’
“I am daring capable individuals to change the world we live in. I’m daring the world to step up and help solve ALS.”
Earlier this year, Saints owner Tom Benson donated $5 million to the effort. There are plenty of people with as many or more resources that Benson. Some of them (we think) read this site. (Or maybe they hire people to read it for them.)
So why not respond to the dare from Gleason? Click on the link and donate. Or have that person you’ve hired do it for you.