Kids for Team Gleason!
Stuart Hall Kids
6th grade – Copland Middle School
Attached is an essay written about courage featuring Steve by my 13 yr old daughter, Maggie, who survived a malignant brain tumor. I met Steve and Michelle briefly at the fundraiser for Jay Rink – we went to St. Clement together – and they asked me to send the essay. I hope you enjoy it!
Bedford, TX : 8th grade picture
An avid ALS fundraiser in honor of her Uncle.
3rd Grade, 2013
My dad’s friend Steve Gleason was a professional football player for the New Orleans Saints. Then he got ALS disease. Ever since he has tried to find a cure for the disease. Steve was born in and raised in Spokane. He went to Gonzaga Prep for high school and WSU for college. Steve Gleason is a great athlete and leader from Spokane.
Steve was born on March 19, 1977, in Spokane. Raised in Spokane, Washington, he went to high school at Gonzaga Prep. He played baseball and football in high school. He had broken the GSL home run record. In high school he had earned consecutive defensive MVP awards as a linebacker in the Greater Spokane League. Steve went to college at WSU and played baseball and football there too. When he was on the football team he went to the Rose Bowl. Steve was a leader in football as a linebacker for Gonzaga Prep and WSU.
He also was a former professional football player for the New Orleans Saints. His career lasted from 2000 to 2008. After Hurricane Katrina ruined so many lives in New Orleans, Steve formed the One Sweet World foundation. It encouraged people in Spokane to donate backpacks and other school supplies for Hurricane Katrina victims. He spent a lot of his time at the children’s hospital. Then while playing for the New Orleans Saints Steve blocked a punt and the Saints got a touchdown. It was the first touchdown for the Saints at home in the superdome 21 months after Hurricane Katrina.
Sadly in 2011 Steve was diagnosed with ALS. ALS is a disease without a cure where muscles are lost and eventually leads to death. Steve Gleason encourages people in Spokane and all over the nation with ALS not to give up. His campaign for ALS is ‘No White Flags’. Steve Gleason helps people in Spokane with ALS live productive lives until a cure is found.
Gonzaga Prep High School, Washington State University and the New Orleans Saints professional football team were all lucky to have Steve as a great athlete and leader. Spokane and the whole ALS community greatly benefits from Steve’s encouragement to not give up and enjoy life no matter what life has handed you. I am proud that Steve Gleason is from Spokane and is my dad’s friend.
Sacred Heart, Rosie Varisco
Owen Oetting, Chicago
Steve Gleason is my hero because he has overcome so many obstacles in his life. Getting into the NFL takes a lot of hard work and determination. But that is not the only thing Steve did.
In high school he went to Gonzaga Prep and won Defensive MVP awards as a linebacker. He even broke the homerun record at Gonzaga Prep. He then went on and got a football scholarship to Washington State University. There he went to the Rose Bowl but lost. He was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts and later was picked up by the New Orleans Saints. Steve also climbed Machu Picchu. But on September 25, 2006, after hurricane Katrina, Steve blocked a punt and united a city.
But being a NFL safety is not the reason he is my hero. In 2011 Steve Gleason was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). This news shook up his life. He is rallying people to help find a cure. He is raising awareness for ALS and battling it himself. He is my hero because he is saving lives. When I grow up I want to play in the NFL and be a safety, but most of all I want to change lives like he does.
By Owen Oetting