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Who Dat Team?

When you hear the phrase “Who Dat” there is only one image that can come through your head and that is the New Orleans Saints. That phrase has become synonymous with that team and all their fans. As many of you know I was born in Green Bay so I bleed the green and gold of the Green Bay Packers. I guess you could say I became somewhat of a Saints fan after they beat the Minnesota Vikings and Brett Favre in the playoffs a few years back. But now I am even a bigger fan because of one man who has made a profound impact on my life. That man is former New Orleans Saints player Steve Gleason. Like me, he is battling ALS but doing it in a way that should inspire everyone no matter how big a challenge that might face them.
 
Our journeys crossed paths this spring when I received a call from Steve and his wife Michel informing me that they were going to provide me the ability to fulfill a dream with an adventurous trip to Italy. If you read my earlier blog you know just how much that adventure meant to me, my son, and all those who are part of my extended family. Things like that don’t happen without special people making it happen. I was fortunate enough to fly down this past week to meet and thank Steve and Michel for what they did for me. What I did not know is that I was going to meet what I call the “Who Dat Team” better-known as the individuals who make Team Gleason function. I sat next to Steve and listened to him, his wife, his father-in-law Paul, and the dozen or so individuals discuss all that is happening with his foundation. It was awe-inspiring to hear the creativity and dedication that this group has to take a vision and make it a reality. The impact that Team Gleason has made, is making, and will make in the future for the ALS community is astounding. Now I know why he was such a revered teammate on the football field because I would go to battle with him any day of the week. Although never a professional athlete, I can imagine the desire, dedication, and effort it takes to succeed at that level and that same attitude was on display by the Who Dat Team. My trip to Italy was not only a dream come true, but to quote Steve, it was an “awakening” as I realized there is still plenty to do in this lifetime if I focus on what I can do rather than what I can’t do.
I went to New Orleans to say thank you and provide some closure to a personal event but I left with much more.  I realized not only wasn’t there closure there is so much more I can and want to do to help Team Gleason and their cause. You could feel the love for Steve in that room, and by the time I left, I embarrassingly felt that same love for me. But an even greater gift was the fact that I was flying home realizing I could call Steve and Michel my friends. And when I live by faith, family, and friends, you can understand what it means to me to know they are part of my team. We are all in this together, and I will do my part to help make Steve’s vision a reality in Wisconsin or wherever my journey leads me.
 
 
 

2 responses to “Who Dat Team?

  1. My son died Aug.13 .2013 Anthony Naseef he had ALS he was 53 years old I miss him so much .send please .

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