Millions of football fans who have never heard of the term “ALS” will learn about the disease during Sunday’s Super Bowl pre-game show on February 5 before the New York Giants take on the New England Patriots in Indianapolis.
Television viewers will have the opportunity to watch a Sports Illustrated video featuring former New Orleans Saint Steve Gleason, who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease in January 2011, prior to football’s ultimate showdown. Sports Illustrated writer Peter King visited Gleason, 34, the onetime football player’s wife, Michel, and their son, Rivers, to share the Gleason family’s story in how they are coping with this insidious disease. During these visits, King has chronicled how ALS has impacted Gleason’s mobility but has not affected the one-time athlete’s will to live.
Gleason now moves with assistance from a walker since the disease has affected his legs and torso. Nonetheless, he wants to inspire others diagnosed with ALS to continue to live full lives with their families and friends. "I don't feel sorry for myself, and I don't want anyone else to,'' Gleason told King in November 2011. "All I want is to be able to help some ALS patients and show them they don't have to give up when they're diagnosed.''
“Like others who are fighting Lou Gehrig’s Disease, Steve Gleason’s strength and selflessness motivates The ALS Association to continue to seek the cause, treatments and ultimately a cure for ALS. We are grateful that NBC and Sports Illustrated will share the Gleason family’s story with millions of Americans on Sunday,” said Jane H. Gilbert, The ALS Association’s President and CEO.
Gleason played safety for the New Orleans Saints for eight years and retired from the sport in 2008. He received his ALS diagnosis when he was working on his master of business administration degree at New Orleans’ Tulane University.
Check local listing for the time NBC’s pre-game show airs.
To learn more about Peter King’s profile of Steve Gleason, visit