NEW ORLEANS -- Former Saints special teams standout Steve Gleason says he's been diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Gleason's decision to go public comes on the fifth anniversary of New Orleans' emotional victory over Atlanta in the rebuilt Louisiana Superdome on Sept. 25, 2006.

The 34-year-old Gleason, who blocked a punt in the club's first game in New Orleans after Hurrican Katrina, is forming an organization which aims to improve the lives of those who have the currently incurable disease, which causes paralysis and is ultimately fatal.

Gleason, who retired in 2008, is married with his first child due late next month. He says he hopes the way he deals with ALS can inspire people as much as anything he did in football.

Gleason went to Washington State University from 1995-2000. He starred on the football team and played some baseball. Gleason graduated from Gonzaga Prep.

He has a website called team -gleason.comor you can follow him on twitter @team_gleason

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