The ALS Association

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Newest ALS Awareness PSA Features Former New Orleans Saint Steve Gleason & Other NFL Players Describing Disease’s Effects on the Body

February 2, 2013

As Americans prepare to tune in to Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday to watch the San Francisco 49ers battle the Baltimore Ravens for the highest honor in football, onetime New Orleans Saint Steve Gleason, who has Lou Gehrig’s disease, and other National Football League notables released a new ALS awareness public service announcement. 

The PSA shows professional football coaches and players describing the physical impact that the disease has on people. They tell viewers how those with ALS lose the ability to perform everyday activities like using a pencil, tying their shoelaces, or hugging their loved ones. Gleason concludes the PSA by introducing himself and saying, “Let’s put our heads together and find a cure for ALS.” Viewers hear the disease’s effects in Gleason’s slurred voice. 

“This PSA is a powerful reminder that thousands of people and families continue to struggle against Lou Gehrig’s disease,” said Jane H. Gilbert, President and CEO of The ALS Association. “We thank Steve Gleason and the NFL for spreading ALS awareness.”

On Sunday, viewers of the Super Bowl will get a glimpse of another former NFL player battling ALS, O.J. Brigance, during the pre-game show. Brigance, who played with the Baltimore Ravens, currently works with the team as its Director of Player Development and recently presented them with the Lamar Hunt trophy on January 20 when they defeated the New England Patriots in the American Football Conference (AFC) Championship Game. He was diagnosed with ALS in 2007. 

During last year’s Super Bowl Game, Gleason, his wife Michel, and their infant son Rivers, appeared in a segment on a pre-game show where he and Michel discussed how they cope with the disease with Sports Illustrated writer Peter King. 

Gleason worked with The ALS Association’s Louisiana/Mississippi Chapter in October 2012 for its New Orleans Walk to Defeat ALS® event. 

“Our chapter and people with ALS are grateful for all the awareness that Steve has made for the disease,” said chapter Executive Director Kelly Viator. Viator mentioned that the Louisiana/Mississippi Chapter is providing transportation for some ALS families who live out of state to the Super Bowl.  

Steve Gleason Featured on Super Bowl Pre-Game Show

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