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NFL Hero And ALS Survivor Steve Gleason Confirms Big News About His Family

Football fans will tell you that former NFL star Steve Gleason is a hero on the field.

He famously blocked a punt for the New Orleans Saints game against the Atlanta Falcons in 2006 after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city, and a statue has since been erected outside the Superdome in his honor.

Unfortunately, Gleason's life took an unexpected turn when he was diagnosed with ALS in 2011.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, causes your brain's motor neurons to deteriorate, leading to weakness and eventually paralysis.

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The athlete now relies on a motorized wheelchair to get around and needs assistance with certain everyday tasks. However, in many ways, the degenerative disease has made him a hero off the field too.

He became an advocate for those suffering from the terrible disease. He started the Team Gleason foundation to raise awareness and funds for ALS research. In 2015, the Steve Gleason Act was signed into a law which dictates that patients on Medicare and Medicaid will have access to the technologies that form a necessary part of their treatments.

In 2016, Gleason was back in the news after he and his wife, Michel Rae Varisco, released the inspirational documentary about his life, titled Gleason.

Gleason said he created the film to document his journey with ALS for his son, Rivers, who was born eight months after his devastating diagnosis.

Despite the challenges that come with raising a child while fighting ALS, the Gleasons aren't afraid to keep growing their family.

On July 29, Varisco took to Instagram to reveal that they are expecting their second child after going through in-vitro fertilization.

She showed off her baby bump in a photo taken during their family vacation in Idaho.

A post shared by Michel R Varisco (@mvarisco) on

NOLA.com broke the exciting news after Varisco's photo was posted, and it wasn't long before Gleason confirmed it via a tweet that read "Busted!"

"Rivers is super excited," said Clare Durrett, Team Gleason's associate executive director.

The six-year-old will assume his big brother role when his sister arrives this October.

Congratulations to the happy family!

Awa has been writing for Shared for 3 years. She is a serial snacker who unapologetically loves celebrity gossip. Drop her a line at awa@shared.com.