Sunday, October 9, 2011

hello brother


 this is steve gleason circa 2005. you may remember him from his days at wazzu, donning the crimson and gray and making a trip to the rose bowl.  most know him for his legendary blocked punt during the very first game played in the superdome since hurricane katrina ripped through new orleans a year earlier. many saints fans regard that play, seen below,  as a symbol of their city's relentlessness.  that play vaulted steve into cult hero status among saints fans and forever cemented him as a figure of the great revival of a post-katrina NOLA. 


i'll admit, i don't remember steve as a coug or a saint. i've never met the guy but respect him as a fellow athlete and an important figure of new orleans, my absolute favorite southern city. i found out about steve because of the dark passenger that we share. he became a brother to me through ALS. another example of a finely tuned athlete that dedicated his life to strengthening his body so he could excel at football's highest level. steve enjoyed a successful career and was embarking on retired life with his new wife and plans for a family. however, slowly his body began to change. i bet he thought, 'wow, i had no idea that retiring and relaxing could cause my limbs to become so heavy' and 'what the hell is this twitching?!'. i hear ya...i thought that too!!! soon his worst fears were confirmed. steve, like me, had been robbed by a disease that i (maybe we) knew little about. ALS crept into our bodies and tore down the temple that we had been working on since the second we fell in love with our sports. ALS will try to steal every living ounce of you and it won't stop until it does. thankfully steve and i have another thing in common. the years spent dedicated to our sports were not spent alone. just as my teammates and friends held me up after our coaches vicious conditioning tests years ago...they continue to support me now as ALS tests me in a whole new way.

likewise, steve's teammates and friends continue to support him as his limbs weaken. ALS is threatening to rob steve of everything but i guarantee that steve and team gleason are mounting a grand defense. 

doctors and scientists are closer than ever to delivering a treatment to stop and maybe even reverse ALS. PALS (people with ALS) around the world continue to lean on their friends and family for support while patiently waiting for a miracle. until that day, each of us resembles that blocked punt that helped to fuel new orleans ' post-katrina resurrection. a spark lying dormant within us only waiting to be set free to start our own great revival of a post-ALS world.

6 comments:

Wondame Davis said...

That's one of the best blogs I've ever read! You the shit Mo!

Anne Teel said...

Well done Mo. You have great insight and gracefully write about this horrible disease with amazing ease. Thanks for sharing this story and your strength. Love you, AT

Lindsey said...

Great post Mo. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.-Lindsey

BreDub3 said...

Very heartfelt. Thanks for sharing Mo. <3 BW

Elizabeth said...

Wow. This is beautiful.

Han Zomerdijk said...

So touching...
Thank you for your inspirational words, may they resound forever...