Steve Gleason Act Heads To Presidents Desk
In the blink of an eye he became an icon for fans of the New Orleans Saints. It was the first game back in the Superdome following Hurricane Katrina. The Saints were playing the Atlanta Falcons and 21 months of frustration exploded on a play by the special teams.
When Steve Gleason blocked a Falcon punt on fourth down of the game's first series and Curtis Deloatch fell on the ball in the end zone for a touchdown the newly renovated roof of the Superdome was almost blown off again from the inside.
They have a statue of Steve Gleason blocking that punt at the Superdome. However, his lasting legacy may be what happened to him after that magic football moment. In 2011 Steve Gleason was diagnosed with ALS, Lou Gehrig's Disease. Much like the resilient city his statue "Rebirth" depicts, Gleason has not let this debilitating disease stop him from making a difference.
The Steve Gleason Act is now on President Barrack Obama's desk. This act will make speech generating devices more accessible for those that are affected by ALS or other diseases that effect the brain's ability to control speech. This funding will be made possible through our nations Medicare and Medicaid programs.
Gleason's lobbying efforts on behalf of this legislation helped garner the attention of congress and the nation. While Saints fans will always remember him for a magic moment that brought a team, a city, a state, and a region back from a devastating storm. His legacy will live on through individuals and families that are looking to make their own rebirth from ALS and other neuromuscular diseases.