By Ted Lewis
This is the fourth story in a series on the 2018 inductees to the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. Formal induction ceremonies are June 30 in Natchitoches.
When Steve Gleason received the devastating diagnosis in 2011 that he had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, he could have, understandably, accepted his fate — that his condition was terminal, usually within a couple of years.
But as Gleason, then 34, later put it: “Most people who have severe disabilities are expected to fade away quietly and die.
“For me," he said, "that was not OK.”
That wasn’t the Steve Gleason who had already beaten the odds to play eight NFL seasons, primarily on special teams, and gained Who Dat immortality in 2006 with his blocked punt in the opening minutes of the Saints’ return to the Superdome following Hurricane Katrina.
Or the one who had met and married New Orleanian Michel Varisco after his playing career had ended. They found out they had a child on the way shortly before the diagnosis. ...
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