SEATTLE - Thursday marked the Seattle premiere of a movie that tells the inspiring story of former WSU Cougar, NFL star, and Spokane native Steve Gleason. The critically acclaimed film documents Gleason's brave battle with ALS.
The diagnosis came when he was just 34 years old, and only weeks before Gleason learned his wife was pregnant with their first child.
Since then, he's touched lives all over the country, and helped raise awareness about ALS.
The movie chronicles the way in which he's utilized medical technologies, such as the computer tablet that is mounted on his wheelchair, which Gleason now uses to communicate.
Gleason was surrounded by friends and family as he arrived at AMC Pacific Place Thursday evening.
Pearl Jam, Seahawks General Manager John Schneider, and several former Seahawks players were also there to see the film and show their support for Gleason.
"This movie means a lot to us," said Gleason's wife, Michel. "It is the last five years of our life and it means a lot to have two sold out theaters to come watch it."
Michel said she's often asked what she and Steve hope people will take away from the film.
"You have all kinds of emotions watching the film, and I just hope people can come in and feel what they need to feel," she said. "You know, this is not just our story. It's a lot of people's stories. So I think hopefully it's cathartic in a way, for other people with ALS to get to see what they're going through on the screen, and hopefully have people they know and love watch it, to understand a little more about what they're going through."
The movie opens in select theaters on Friday. To find a showing near you, click here.