NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – Former New Orleans Saint Steve Gleason, a local force in the hunt for a cure for ALS, got to show off his ice-wheeling skills today at NOLA ChristmasFest.
Gleason played for the New Orleans Saints from 2000-2008. His blocked punt against the Atlanta Falcons went down in Saints history on Sept. 25, 2006, the first game played in the Superdome since it reopened after Hurricane Katrina. It was one of the most watched football games in NFL history. In case you missed it, we won.
He retired from football 18 months after the historic game.
A few years later, in 2011, Gleason was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Since his diagnosis, he has become an activist in the fight for a cure for the excruciating, often fatal disease.
His foundation, Team Gleason, raises money and awareness about the disease and helps ALS patients to live the most independent life they possibly can.
His Team Gleason House for Innovative Living in New Orleans is only the second of its kind in the world. It uses the latest computer technology to help ALS patients live more independently.
According to NOLA ChristmasFest organizers, “Steve’s a pro” when it comes to parading around the ice skating rink at the Ernest Morial Convention Center.
NOLA ChristmasFest is happening now through Dec. 30. It features more than a half-dozen holiday attractions, including:
- An indoor ice-skating rink
- Giant inflatables
- Carnival rides and a carousel
- A climbing wall
- Life-size maze
- Snowball fight and ice slide
- Children’s crafts
- A gingerbread house
- Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus
- Thousands of Christmas lights