The Game Changer Gala
The Game Changer Gala was created to celebrate the efforts of Team Gleason and Answer ALS, but to also pay tribute to those who have been and continue to be game changers in the fight to live with and end ALS.
People living with ALS, organizations, industry, researchers, caregivers, committed individuals, and so many more have been instrumental in moving innovation forward to provide solutions and answers to ALS.
The name "Game Changer Gala" is the result of an ALS awareness campaign between Answer ALS and the NFL. The video highlighted 5 historic, game changing plays in NFL history. At the time the video was made, only Steve Gleason had been diagnosed with ALS. One year later, Dwight Clark, legendary playmaker for "the Catch", was also diagnosed. Dwight lost his battle with the disease in 2018 He was remembered at the 2018 Gala for his role as a lifelong Game Changer.
"Many ALS patients end up fading away quietly and dying. For me, this was not OK." Steve Gleason
Nearly two dozen research entities at leading institutions, 1000 patients and six clinic sites make this the single largest and most comprehensive ALS research effort in the world. Our mission is to build the most comprehensive clinical, genetic, molecular and biochemical assessment of ALS and make the data and research tools freely available to ultimately help bring an end to this disease.
Answer ALS began in 2014, when former NFL player, Steve Gleason, who is living with ALS, hosted a summit and asked researchers, clinicians and ALS patients and caregivers to develop a business plan to end the disease. Ultimately, that plan became Answer ALS.
The Answer ALS program is creating the largest and most comprehensive foundation of ALS data ever amassed from an enormous sampling of ALS patients in the United States. The data will be mined to uncover ALS causes, subtypes, pathways gone awry and drug targets.
This research project also could potentially provide deeper understanding of Alzheimers, Parkinsons and other neurodegenerative diseases.
ANSWER ALS PARTNERS/
Team Gleason is committed to providing and finding solutions for those living with ALS and other related neuromuscular diseases. The group's focus is on those with ALS and also those who care for them. Team Gleason’s small staff and volunteers work tirelessly every day to empower those living with ALS to live with continued purpose and as productively and independently as possible.
Team Gleason was founded by Steve Gleason, who played for The New Orleans Saints from 2000-2008. He is always remembered for his blocked punt on the night the Louisiana Superdome reopened after Hurricane Katrina.
In January, 2011 Steve was diagnosed with ALS, considered a terminal disease, with most only surviving 2-5 years. Beyond his faith that there is a solution to heal, it is Steve’s mission to show that patients can not only live but thrive after this diagnosis. In doing so, he hopes to inspire others to do the same.
With that in mind, Steve and his wife, Michel, formed Team Gleason to help accomplish those goals and mission to:
Help provide people with neuromuscular diseases or injuries with leading-edge technology, equipment, and services.
To create a global conversation about ALS to ultimately find continued solutions and an end to the disease.
To raise public awareness toward ALS by providing and documenting extraordinary life adventures for individuals with muscular diseases or injuries.
Since Team Gleason’s inception, the group has had a significant impact on the lives of countless people living with ALS.
Steve and Team Gleason continue to push the boundaries of what is possible in living with ALS. Whether it be partnering with the world’s largest tech companies, challenging legislation, innovating for new technology or creating life-changing experiences, the group strives to find solutions where others see only problems.
March 21, 2020 Time TBD