Stephen Michael "Steve" Gleason is a former professional football player, a safety with the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League. Originally signed by the Indianapolis Colts as an undrafted free agent in 2000, he played for the Saints through the 2007 season. As a free agent in 2008, Gleason retired from the NFL after eight seasons. Gleason is especially well known for his blocked punt in a 2006 game that became a symbol of recovery in New Orleans in the team's first home game after Hurricane Katrina. In 2011, he revealed that he was battling ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease... (wikipedia)
Life is difficult. Not just for me or other ALS patients. Life is difficult for everyone. Finding ways to make life meaningful and purposeful and rewarding, doing the activities that you love and spending time with the people that you love - I think that's the meaning of this human experience.
I have moments where I miss my old self. But I think anyone can get caught up in what we used to have. But at the same time, we can choose to focus on the beauty of now.
I have been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). It's a terminal disease with an average lifespan of two to five years post-diagnosis, and scientists don't know what causes it. ALS prevents your brain from talking to your muscles. As a result, muscles die. As a result, every 90 minutes people die. I am a person.
If we have a purpose in life beyond being a cog in the human machine, mine is to help inspire people and that's pretty cool. I would like to motivate the world.
I believe happiness is a choice. Some days it is a very difficult choice.
I look at the human life like an experiment. Every new moment, every new experience, tragic or otherwise, is an opportunity to gain a more accurate perspective and helps lead me to clarity.
Does anyone know if Lamborghini makes wheelchair vehicles? If not, I want to change that.
Because ALS is underfunded, patients have had no option but to fade away and die. That is not OK.
The film 'The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,' based the book of the same name, has a line that enlightens and comforts me. The protagonist, who has lost all ability to move except one eye, discusses his role as a father. He notes, 'Even a fraction of a father is still a father.'
To cure ALS medically is not economical. The realities are that it's difficult to find funding for research for a medical cure. I believe in developing technology as opposed to medical research. Technology can be economical.