RADIO Scott Fujita says Steve Gleason is “one of the best men I’ve ever known.” Gleason was recently diagnosed with ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
“Not long after his diagnosis, [Gleason and his wife] purchased a camper van and went out and hit the road. They traveled over six thousand miles from New Orleans to the west coast,” Fujita said during an interview on the Edge of Sports with Dave Zirin. They stopped at Fujita’s house on their way to Alaska.
The Browns NFL linebacker shared with Zirin stories about Gleason and the strength of his friend and former New Orleans Saints teammate as he battles ALS.
Fujita has played for the Cowboys and the Saints before joining Cleveland. During his time in New Orleans, Fujita played with Gleason, who was always a fan favorite. Gleason excelled on special teams, and is most fondly remembered for blocking a punt against the Atlanta Falcons in what became the signature play of the first game the Saints played in the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina.
Gleason went public with the disease earlier this season, and the New Orleans Saints had a party for Gleason where they gave him a Super Bowl ring, and he was also awarded a key to the city. Fujita, a close friend of Gleason, was at the ceremony.
Fujita describes some of the touching moments in the ceremony. “Steve said, ‘Listen guys, this isn’t about a Super Bowl ring. It’s not about a blocked punt. It’s about what you’re going to do when you step out of this room.’ “
Gleason is focused on living his life, and beating the disease. He announced at the party that, “ALS has f—ed with the wrong guy.”
Fujita explains how Gleason’s life can be a lesson to us all. Gleason is always someone who has been active and has lived life to the fullest. Right now, Fujita explains, “[Gleason’s] wife, Michelle, is expecting their first child. She’ll be delivering next month.”
Gleason has always been a man who lived life to the fullest, and in his battle with ALS, he hasn’t stopped living. His strength and courage are an inspiration to us all.
For our story on Steve Gleason getting his Super Bowl ring, click here.
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