Former NFL athlete Steve Gleason to receive Congressional Gold Medal Jan. 15

AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 11: Steve Gleason attends the screening of "Gleason" during the 2016 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at Paramount Theatre on March 11, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for SXSW)

WASHINGTOn — Former New Orleans Saints player Steve Gleason who become a leading advocate for people struggling with Lou Gehrig’s disease after he was diagnosed with the paralyzing disease will be awarded the Congressional Gold Medal during a ceremony on Jan. 15.

President Donald Trump signed legislation last year awarding Gleason the medal. It is Congress’s highest civilian honor.

On the field, Gleason is best known for his electrifying blocked punt during the Saints’ first game in the rebuilt Superdome following 2005’s Hurricane Katrina.

In Jan. 2011, he was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a degenerative neuro-muscular disease that left him paralyzed.

NEW ORLEANS, LA – SEPTEMBER 26: Fomer New Orleans Saints Steve Gleason, who suffers from ALS, is seen before a game between the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 26, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

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