In 2011, former New Orleans Saints special teams ace Steve Gleason was diagnosed with ALS. Once Gleason then learned he was going to become a father, he started keeping video journals for his son, Rivers.
In 2013, Gleason, Rivers, the Gleason family, and the videos, were profiled by SportsCenter.
Now, in 2021, SportsCenter returns to the Gleason family for Father’s Day. Ten years after Gleason was diagnosed with ALS and began making his videos for his son, Rivers now returns the favor and makes a video for his dad.
ESPN producer Michael O’Connor had this to say about what he wants the viewers of this new special to take away:
I think a lot of people will be surprised not only that Steve is alive, he’s thriving and has figured out how to live this life with all the challenges ALS brings and be an amazing father for his children.
It’s interesting having spent time with Steve and his family, both eight years ago and then this experience, when you are around them you see what they go through, and how they take care of each other and process everything. His wife Michel is just the most incredible human being there is, their two children are wonderful, and then Team Gleason, all the people that work with him to help him, and what they do for other people, is just incredible.
But when you’re there, and I hope it transcends through the piece, when you are in their home, you hear them say, and you see it written, they use the word resilience, they use the word gratitude, they express their love for each other. They’re just an incredible family and the theme that you see when you spend time with them is resilience, gratitude and love.
If you’re a Saints fan, or just a fan of good people, make sure you tune in to SportCenter’s “A Father’s Resilience,” Sunday, June 20th at 8 a.m. ET.