"Today marks the six year anniversary of my ALS diagnosis, and I love my life. I feel purposeful and fulfilled with where I am. I'm excited about what is ahead," began the note written by Steve Gleason.
Gleason posted the note Thursday to Twitter, giving his thoughts on his life since the diagnosis he went public with on Sept. 25, 2011. Since his announcement, the former Saints standout has worked to spread awareness about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Six years ago today, I was diagnosed with ALS. Here are my thoughts:— Steve Gleason (@TeamGleason) January 6, 2017
"... I am happy." pic.twitter.com/yTV6Ad9fqi
In his note, Gleason described how the "remorseless and humiliating disease" impacts not only the diagnosed individual but also those who care for them.
"It can leave its victims in a pathetic, silent, purposeless heap of flesh. It can annihilate families. Spouses become unrecognizable to each other, veiled in frustration, anger, and shame," he wrote.
Technology, Gleason wrote, was the only solution he found that helped those with ALS stay purposeful and productive.
Gleason and his wife, Michel, made recordings for their child Rivers; started Team Gleason to help others; and shared the good and bad moments of their lives in the recent film "Gleason."
Despite all the trials he has faced, Gleason wanted to let it be known that he is happy.
"While I intend to continue living a meaningful life for decades, I understand that my timeline is fragile, just like you. I don't pray for a life without suffering, I pray for the strength to understand, while living triumphantly.
"Six years after being handed a terminal diagnosis, I know this. I am happy."
To read Gleason's note in full, click here.