A Louisiana House committee approved a bill to let Louisiana residents buy Team Gleason Foundation license plates to help a former New Orleans Saints player in his fight against ALS.
Steve Gleason, one of the most beloved players in Saints history, was a safety from 2000 to 2008 and was diagnosed with ALS, also called Lou Gehrig’s disease, in 2011. He and his wife established the Team Gleason Foundation shortly after that to inspire and show other ALS patients they “can not only live but thrive.”
Most Saints fans recall his blocked punt against the Atlanta Falcons, which helped lead the Saints to victory, on the night the Superdome reopened after Hurricane Katrina.
A film about one of the most beloved players in New Orleans Saints history has received two nominations for this year's Sports Emmy Awards.
In 2014, Gleason and his organization hosted a summit for researchers, patients and caregivers to brainstorm a plan to end ALS in our lifetime. The summit resulted in the formation of Answer ALS, the largest ALS research project in the world.
The highest-ranking Democrat in the House, Walt Leger III, of New Orleans, sponsored the bill, which requires a $25 annual royalty fee that will be forwarded to the Team Gleason Foundation.
“I’m sure I don’t need to lecture the committee on the impact of Steve Gleason,” Leger said.
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Gleason is widely regarded as a face of positivity in confronting ALS.
ALS kills the neurons that control voluntary muscles, resulting in paralysis.
The license plate “is a great opportunity to show our appreciation for all he’s done,” Rep. Barbara Norton, D-Shreveport, said.
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