Steve Gleason is a celebrated safety player for New Orleans Saints where he spent the majority of his playing career. He is best known for his blocked punt in a game against arch rivals Atlanta Falcons in an aim to honor the city that witnessed Hurricane Katrina back in 2006.
Steve Gleason Biography
The ex-NFL player, Steve Gleason was born on March 19, 1977, and he is an American by nationality. He was raised along with his brother Kyle Gleason in Spokane, Washington, by his parents Mike and Gail Gleason. He attended Gonzaga Preparatory School in Washington. He played football in high school, playing for G-Prep. Gleason who played exceptionally was awarded the defensive MVP Award consecutively as a linebacker in the Greater Spokane League.
He once held the record for the GLS home run which he broke in his senior year. He earned a scholarship while at the high school to play football at Washington State University. After he graduated from high school in 1995, he honored the scholarship given to him by Washington State University to play football for the capital base varsity school team. During his time at Washington State University, Gleason was a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.
During the 2000 drafting, Gleason was undrafted which then rendered him a free agent. In the same year, he was signed as a free agent by Indianapolis Colts. Still, in the year 2000, Gleason moved to New Orleans Saints after he was released by the Colts.
On September 25, 2006, during an NFL game between New Orleans Saints and their arch-rivals Atlanta Falcons, he made a gesture that would forever be remembered in NFL’s history, when he blocked a punt in the first quarter of the game. It was the Saints first home game in over a year, just after the city experienced the devastating destruction done by Hurricane Katrina. In that same year, he won the Special Teams Player of the Year award for the saints.
In 2008, he called his eight years old career quits, having made 53 NFL career appearance, 59 solo tackles and 6 assisted tackles. During his playing time, he was known to wear the number 37 jersey and played the safety position. He earned a little over $500k annually during the course of his career and was worth an estimated $2million.
After quitting football, he then attended Tulane University where he received his Master’s degree in business administration.
Steve Gleason owns a foundation called One Sweet World Foundation, a charity organization founded to protect the environment from degrading from human activity. After Hurricane Katrina’s horrific destruction, his charity organization along with other groups of foundations donated Backpacks for Hope, with an aim of providing relief to the Hurricane victims. Currently, his foundation is committed to lending aid to people with ALS, a disease Gleason also suffers from.
In 2011, Steve Gleason revealed that he was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis also called Lou Gehrig’s disease. The disease has made him wheelchair bound.
The cause of ALS is still unknown but its symptoms and diagnosis are well known but no cure for ALS is known. The most significant symptom of this disease is muscle weakness. Some of its other symptoms include tight and stiff muscles, difficulty in chewing or swallowing. The disease is not age sensitive neither is it gender biased. The life expectancy of a person suffering from ALS averages about 5 years from the time of diagnosis.
Gleason has a son named Rivers Gleason. Rivers was born in the same year Gleason was diagnosed with ALS.
Is Steve Gleason Still Alive, Where is He Today?
The last time anything was heard of Gleason, was when he celebrated his birthday earlier in 2018. He was seen having a good time celebrating his 41st birthday. Since his return from Ochsner Medical Center where he is being treated, Steve has intensified his war against ALS by creating the Team Gleason Foundation as part of “his mission to prove that patients with the disease can not only live but thrive after they’ve been diagnosed.
Who is His Wife?
In the year he retired from football, Steve Gleason got married to New Orleans native Michel Rae Varisco.
Michel Varisco was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on July 13, 1967. She is a contemporary artist. Michel received her Bachelor’s degree in Arts from Loyola University, New Orleans. And also earned a Master’s degree in Fine Arts from the same University her husband earned his Master’s degree, Tulane University.