In 2006, professional football player Steve Gleason made one of the most dramatic plays in NFL history when he blocked a punt that led his team, the New Orleans Saints, to its first home victory following Hurricane Katrina. Five years later, he was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and made the decision to document his battle with the disease on film.
Directed by J. Clay Tweel, "Gleason" (which opens in Japan on Aug. 19 under the title "Gift — Boku ga Kimi ni Nokoseru Mono") is an account of what the former athlete and his family have gone through over the past five years as Gleason's physical condition deteriorated, but his resolve strengthened.
"My intention is to pass on as much of who I am, to you," Gleason says at the beginning of the film to his (then) unborn son. His son, Rivers, is now 6 years old. For four of those years, Gleason has been confined to a wheelchair and this is just one of the reasons the documentary is best watched with a box of tissues on hand.