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Former New Orleans Saint Steve Gleason To Be Honored By Open Hearts Foundation

Steve Gleason
Cindy Ord, Getty Images

I was in the Louisiana Superdome on Sept. 25th, 2006 when #37 Steve Gleason blocked a punt into the end zone for a Saints touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons. The Saints went on to rout the “Dirty Birds” 23-3 in their first real home game in more than a year.

Steve’s in the biggest fight of his life now. He was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in 2011.  ALS is a progressive degenerative muscle and nerve disease for which there is no cure. It’s commonly referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease” because of the New York Yankees legend who succumbed to it in 1941. My uncle died of ALS when I was a small boy.

Steve’s not giving up without a fight. He established Team Gleason to raise awareness and raise funds for research.

Team Gleason House is a high- tech residence purpose -built to facilitate independent living for people with the deadly illness.

Steve and his wife, Michel, will be honored by actress Jane Seymour and the Open Hearts Foundation later this month at an event to be held at the actress’s Malibu, California home.
The Open Hearts Foundation press release says the Gleasons are being recognized for “helping people with ALS by providing access to life-affirming events and assistive technology until a cure is found.”

ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff and his wife, Lee will also be honored, as well as activist Marie Tillman, widow of Arizona Cardinals’ football player Pat Tillman; ESPN anchor Hannah Storm; and Maria D’Angelo, founder of The Children’s Lifesaving Foundation.

The Open Hearts Foundation recognizes and provides funds to charitable organizations in the areas of education, health, arts and sports. They honor individuals who exemplify the Open Heart Philosophy in their service to others.
“No white flags!”

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