Saints Fans vs. ALS: Gleason Gras 2014 and Pep Rally


November 11, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints former defensive back Steve Gleason whom was diagnosed with ALS gets a kiss from the the victory belles prior to kickoff of a game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) also know as Lou Gehrig’s disease affects nearly 5,600 Americans every year.  The disease usually starts around the age of 60, but in some cases, such as former New Orleans Saints‘ safety and special teams connoisseur Steve Gleason, ALS can begin at a much younger age.

Gleason, now 37, revealed to the public that he was battling with the disease in 2011.  The disorder basically shuts down and deteriorates the muscle tissue in the body, making it, over time, nearly impossible to walk, talk and breathe.  This is all due to the degeneration of upper and lower motor neutrons, which are spread throughout parts of the brain and spinal cord.

With no real cure discovered just yet, millions and millions of dollars are donated each year to research for ALS.  Team Gleason and the Gleason Initiative Foundation was set up to “Help provide individuals with neuromuscular diseases or injuries with leading edge technology, equipment and services.  Create a global conversation about ALS to ultimately find solutions and an end to the disease.  Raise public awareness towards ALS by providing and documenting extraordinary life adventures for individuals with muscular diseases or injuries.”

Steve Gleason is a hero, helping others battle the disease while he fights the disorder himself.  It’s “no white flags” in Steve’s mind, and he wants to make sure everybody else affected by the condition is not surrendering to the illness either.

Well, on Friday, October 24 at 4:00, you can attend the New Orleans Saints pep rally and Gleason Gras 2014 at Champions Square just outside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.  Presented by the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation, the purpose of the event is to “raise awareness for ALS and to the Gleason Family Trust,” which is set up to financially help ease the living with ALS.  Contributions are accepted and will go toward Steve’s participation in the fight and research through technology, equipment and treatments.

Entertainment at Gleason Gras will include Anders Osborne, Rebirth Bras Band, the 610 Stompers among many more.  There will also be a Saints fan costume contest, live painting and auctions by artist Frenchy and authentic and replica Steve Gleason jerseys for sale.

With great food, live music and fun for the entire family, it’s basically a little taste of the Big Easy while also helping raise awareness for a good cause.  I know I’ll be out there, Who Dat Nation.