Sep 8, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton with former New Orleans Saints player Steve Gleason (left) midfield lead the pre game "who dat" chant against the Atlanta Falcons at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Saints owner Tom Benson donates $5M to Steve Gleason to aid ALS patients

New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson donated $5 million dollars to former Saints player Steve Gleason to aid ALS patients and continue research for a cure which Gleason was diagnosed with in 2011.

The Team Gleason charity is opening a house in New Orleans this summer that will house 18 patients fighting ALS and other incurable neuro-muscular disorders and Benson’s donation will go directly to the Team Gleason House.

“Steve is already defying odds,” Benson tells MMQB.com. “And through his work to find a cure for ALS, along the way he is making the lives of those living with ALS more meaningful and independent through the Team Gleason House.

“There is no better place than New Orleans, a city that now leads the way rather than follows. And there is no better person that Steve to inspire those living with ALS. This is one small gesture to help see this great project develop. “Steve is part of the Saints family, but he is an NFL Legend to those that he affects and we are most proud of him.”

Gleason has been the face of ALS after his Super Bowl commercial for Microsoft showed how he communicates with the help of technology, A Football Life documentary on NFL Network showing his trek to the summit of Machu Pichu and a speaking engagement to the United Nations last year.

Gleason was a special teams standout for the Saints from 2000-2008 and his most-recognizable play came in the first game back in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina when he blocked a punt early in the game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Kudos to Benson for his generous donation to help those battling ALS and for Gleason continuing his “No White Flags” mantra and giving strength to the tens of thousands of family impacted by ALS.

Tags: New Orleans Saints Steve Gleason Tom Benson

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