NEW ORLEANS - April 28, 2014 – Team Gleason is proud to announce it has received a $5 million commitment from Gayle and Tom Benson for the Team Gleason House for Innovative Living at St. Margaret's in New Orleans.
The funds will support the ongoing efforts of Team Gleason to provide people with ALS and other debilitating conditions an environment where they can live vital and productive lives with meaningful freedom and independence.
"Gayle and I couldn't be more proud of the work that Steve and Team Gleason are doing for people living with ALS. Steve inspires us all with his message of facing and overcoming adversity, said Tom Benson, owner of the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans. "And, we wanted to be part of growing this community of productive individuals committed to living as independently as possible."
"After I was diagnosed with ALS, the continued support Michel and I have received from the Saints and the Bensons has been humbling and a tremendous comfort to us both," said Steve Gleason, former NFL player and founder of Team Gleason. "They have been like a second family to us on and off the field. With the creation of the Team Gleason House, we announced to the world that, with the right care & the right technology, ALS patients, can be productive and purposeful for decades, Gleason continued. "Through this generous gift, we are assured of the sustainability of that mission."
Since his diagnosis in 2010, Steve Gleason has made it his mission to show that ALS patients can not only live but can thrive after this diagnosis. In doing so, he hopes to inspire others to follow his lead. The Team Gleason House is but one example of theefforts of Steve and Team Gleason toward inspiring others to challenge the norm when it comes to ALS. Whether it's sending patients living with ALS on life changing adventures, empowering others to create life enhancing technology or fostering new initiatives in neuro-muscular research, Team Gleason is raising the level of awareness for ALS with the intent of ultimately finding solutions for the disease.
About The Team Gleason House for Innovative Living at St. Margarets
Team Gleason partnered with St. Margaret's to create an ALS independent living community within their skilled nursing facility. Through the help of JP Morgan Chase and the BreesDream Foundation, cutting edge technology was installed, allowing the roomswithin the community to be completed prior to opening. Through the support ofthe Bensons, Team Gleason and St. Margaret's are now focused on the long term sustainability of the home by developing the community to its fullest potential with environmental changes, additional staff training, advanced equipment, community partnerships and mentoring programs.
About Team Gleason
The Gleason Initiative Foundation is a charitable 501c3 non-profit corporation with the mission tohelp provide individuals with neuromuscular diseases or injuries with leading edge technology, equipment and services. It works to raise public awarenesstoward amyotrophic lateral sclerosis "ALS" by providing and documenting extraordinary life adventures for individuals with muscular diseases or injuries. Additionally, Team Gleason is also focused on fostering efforts to find solutions to ALS.
Photos of the New Orleans Saints coaching staff presenting Steve Gleason with a jersey for his 37th birthday on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 (New Orleans Saints photos)