Former Cougar Steve Gleason and a host of celebrities are in the Inland Northwest this week to raise money for those who suffer from Lou Gehrig's disease – and to have a little fun in the process.
Gleason, most recently a hero for the New Orleans Saints, was diagnosed with ALS in 2011.
On Monday, he and his friends came together for a fundraiser golf tournament at Black Rock in North Idaho. The money raised goes to Catholic Charities to help individuals and families suffering from ALS. It will also help create the Steve Gleason Scholarship fund at Gonzaga Prep
"The fact that now it is impacting other people in a positive way makes it feel like it's a win-win for me."
School and at Washington State.
Gleason, now outwardly suffering from the disease, says his new motto is "awesome ain't easy". His mission is to encourage those suffering from ALS to never give up.
"I told myself that I have to be able to do things that I love regardless of what my physical status is," said Gleason. "The fact that now it is impacting other people in a positive way makes it feel like it's a win-win for me, I think."
"I don't want this to be a white flag," he said. "I want to send patients on these adventures, but then I want to have them help in future adventures, and if possible, to have them use the technology that is available to add value to those future adventures. Hopefully we can provide a sense of purpose for those patients."
Former Washington State coach Bill Doba was among the participants at Monday's event in North Idaho. He said watching Gleason is an inspiration.
"It's neat to see all the support," said Doba. "The thing that's impressive to me is he is going through a tough time, obviously. Many people would sit home and mope. But he's out fighting, telling other people you can still have fun even though you have this affliction or disease."