From NFL player Steve Gleason, a powerful, inspiring memoir of love, heartbreak, resilience, family, and remarkable triumph in the face of ALS
In 2011, three years after leaving the NFL, Steve Gleason was diagnosed with ALS, a terminal disease that takes away the ability to move, talk, and breathe. Doctors gave him three years to live. He was thirty-three years old. As Steve says, he is now ten years past his expiration date.
His memoir is the chronicle of a remarkable life, one filled with optimism and joy, despite the trauma and pain and despair he has experienced. Writing using eye-tracking technology, Gleason covers his pre-ALS life through the highs and lows of his NFL career with the New Orleans Saints, where he made one of the most memorable plays in Saints history, leading to a victory in the first post-Katrina home game, uplifting the city, making him a hero, and reflected in a nine-foot bronze statue outside the Superdome. Then came his heartbreaking diagnosis. Gleason lost all muscle function, he now uses Stephen Hawking-like technology to communicate, and breathes with the help of a ventilator. This book captures Gleason and his wife Michel’s unmatched resilience as they reinvent their lives, refuse to succumb to despair, and face his disease realistically and existentially.
This unsparing portrait argues that a person's true strength does not reside solely in one’s body but also in the ability to face unfathomable adversity and still be able to love and treasure life.
About the Author
STEVE GLEASON played eight years for the New Orleans Saints and, in 2011, was diagnosed with ALS. Shortly after his diagnosis, he founded Team Gleason, a foundation that has been a leader in raising awareness of the disease and improving the lives of those affected by it. Steve also helped found Answer ALS, the largest and most comprehensive ALS research platform in history. He has been awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the most prestigious civilian honor Congress can bestow, has passed two laws, received the NCAA Inspiration Award, ESPY's Stuart Scott ENSPIRE Award, and in 2014, he was named Sports Illustrated Inspiration of the Year. He lives with his wife, Michel, and their two children in New Orleans. JEFF DUNCAN, a native of Louisville, Kentucky, is a sports columnist for the New Orleans Times-Picayune and was a member of the team that won two Pulitzer Prizes for the paper’s coverage of Hurricane Katrina. He is the author of Payton and Brees, Tales from the New Orleans Saints Sideline, and From Bags to Riches.
Praise for Steve Gleason and A Life Impossible
"Steve Gleason has led an extraordinary life, and this is an extraordinary book. It is searingly honest, and doesn’t gloss over anything, including the effect ALS has had on his mind, his body, his marriage, and his family. But what should be sad somehow becomes inspiring, and even, in a unique way, joyous and triumphant. A Life Impossible will change the way people cope, think, and live." –Mike Lupica; New York Daily News columnist, co-author with James Patterson of 12 Months to Live
"Steve Gleason stands for hope, and he stands for infinite possibilities.” –Drew Brees, former New Orleans Saints quarterback
“Steve Gleason has changed the world for a lot of people and literally given a voice to people who didn’t have a voice.” –Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner