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After he is diagnosed with ALS, former professional football player Steve Gleason begins making a video diary for his unborn son, as he, his wife, and their friends and family work to raise money for ALS patients as his disease progresses.


(as J. Clay Tweel)


(as J. Clay Tweel)
3,933 ( 469)
10 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mike Gleason ...
Mike McKenzie ...
Paul Varisco Jr. ...
Vinnie Varisco ...
Ryan Gootee ...
Paul Varisco Sr. ...
Brendan Weber ...
Kyle Gleason ...
Gail Gleason ...
Jill Varisco ...
Kevin Dedmon ...
Rivers Gleason ...


At the age of 34, Steve Gleason was diagnosed with ALS. Doctors gave the former NFL defensive back and New Orleans hero two to five years to live. So that is what Steve chose to do - LIVE: with purpose, for his newborn son, for his wife, and to help others with his disease.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

independent film | See All (1) »


Live with purpose. Love with purpose.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »


Official Sites:




Release Date:

29 July 2016 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Gleason Project  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$91,583 (USA) (29 July 2016)


$576,589 (USA) (26 August 2016)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


Steve Gleason: Yesterday, about five minutes after I got home I pooped all over myself and my wheelchair. I think it's crazy that I can go from people saying "You're my hero," to having to be helped onto a toilet with my pants full of shit. It's an incredible example of polarities, and dichotomies, and juxtapositions that is my life.
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Referenced in Mike & Mike: Episode dated 1 August 2016 (2016) See more »


Hoping and Healing
Written by Mike McCready
Performed by Mike McCready
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User Reviews

An Incredibly Heartwrenching, Yet Inspiring Documentary
8 January 2017 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I watched this film knowing almost nothing about expect that it was a documentary and it had received great reception. I'm not a football fan and had no idea who Steve Gleason was. With that said, it didn't take away any of my enjoyment from this powerful documentary.

The film follows retired NFL player Steve Gleason who is diagnosed with ALS just months before the birth of his son. As he prepares a video dairy for his son, we watch as Steve deals with the disease as it progresses as well as his family as they embark with him on the long and difficult journey. Even without any knowledge of his football career, the film does a great job of quickly introducing to Steve and his family and giving us a background of their live. Although Steve is the star here, his wife Michele also equally shares the spotlight with him as we get to know her and watch her world change as he helps support her husband.

Although I highly recommend this film, be warned it's very difficult to watch. The film does not shy away from just how horrific of a disease ALS is and shows us Steve at several points where he is at his worst with the disease to the point he nearly gives up. What makes the film worth it though is watching somebody like Steve who once had it all have the courage and strength to want to continue living his life in his condition for the sake of his family.

By the end of the film, it's hard not walk away without thinking of Steve Gleason as one of the most inspiring people to ever live. It's the kind of film that when it's over makes you want to go outside and look around and makes you appreciate your own life and the ones around you. The only thing that really keeps the film from being perfect that it is a bit long at nearly 2 hours and a few scenes could've been trimmed down. If you enjoy documentaries and inspiring stories, this film is a must watch and one of the best documentaries I've seen in a long time!

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