The following video is intense, heartbreaking, inspiring, and real.
A dad who loves his family comes to terms with something impossibly difficult and tries to leave a positive legacy for his child.
Steve Gleason played for the NFL with the New Orleans Saints. A paragon of strength and fitness, he could not believe it when he received a diagnosis of ALS, commonly called Lou Gehrig’s disease.
ALS, or amyotrophic laterals sclerosis, is a disease that affects the spinal cord and nervous system, which, in turn impacts a person’s muscles. It progresses, or worsens, over time. A person with ALS will lose the ability to control muscle movement, and may eventually lose the ability to speak, eat, and breathe as well.
Steve was diagnoses when he was just 34.
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After eight seasons with the NFL, Steve retired.
The diagnosis must have had a huge impact on Steve and his wife. It was no doubt an emotional time for them. The two decided that it was now or never; his wife became pregnant and they had a child.
There’s no one way to deal with such a life-changing diagnosis. Steve probably imagined playing football with his kid—something that would become more and more difficult as his condition progressed.
But like many parents with disabilities, they learn to adapt and show their love in the ways that they can.
Steve decided to make videos, which later became a documentary.
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The documentary trailer below depicts Steve’s transition from professional athlete to father, husband, and friend living with a chronic health condition.
“He was like a superhero athlete, but also super smart,” says his wife about his glory days in the NFL.
Steve describes what living with ALS is like. “This disease is almost always fatal,” he explains.
“My intention is to pass on as much of who I am as I possibly can to you,” he says about filming the documentary for his child.
Steve’s story is insight into what someone experiences as their ability shifts and changes throughout their life. Many people are diagnosed with difficult and debilitating diseases. But this, of course, does not mean that they cannot live fulfilling lives full of love.
Watch the trailer for yourself and share it with you friends and family!
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