Steve Gleason six years after ALS diagnosis, "I am happy"

Steve Gleason. ( KREM )

Steve Gleason. (KREM)

It was six years ago Spokane native and former NFL star, Steve Gleason, was diagnosed with ALS.

Since then, Gleason has worked to help others live fully despite similar diagnosis. On the anniversary of that diagnosis that robbed Gleason of virtually all movement, he wanted you to know he loves his life and hopes his story will help you remember to love your life too.

“I feel purposeful and fulfilled with where I am,” Gleason said in an audio file he sent to KREM 2 News. “I’m excited about what is ahead.”

This is not to say that Gleason always felt that way about his sometimes brutally painful journey.

“There were days in the past when I was so frustrated and hopeless, I felt death might be a welcome alternative to this life. Those hopeless days are behind me,” he said.

In a note posted on his Twitter account Thursday, Gleason shared his thoughts on the incurable disease that robs him of ability to move.

"I know ALS is a remorseless and humiliating disease," he wrote. "It can leave its victims in a pathetic, silent, purposeless heap of flesh. It can annihilate families. Spouses become unrecognizable to each other, veiled in frustration, anger, and shame."

In the midst of adversity, Gleason found purpose pouring his energy into Team Gleason. Among other things, his non-profit organization helps people with similar diagnosis continue crucial communication through technology.

Gleason and his wife Michel also used technology to preserve memories of their journey for their young son, Rivers. They soon realized their intimate family footage might benefit an audience beyond the three of them.

excerpt © 2017 KREM-TV. All rights reserved.