New Orleans quarterback DREW BREES spoke at STEVE GLEASON’s Congressional Gold Medal ceremony yesterday.

Steve was a safety in the NFL for seven seasons in the early 2000s.  He and Brees were teammates on the Saints in 2006.

Gleason was diagnosed with ALS nine years ago . . . and he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for his activism and efforts to fight the disease.

Steve gave a very moving speech with the help of speech-generating technology that allows him to type words on a tablet through eye movements.

He said his life story is, quote, “not a football story or even an ALS story, but rather a human story.”  And he added, quote, “The truth is that we all experience pain in our lives, but I believe that the problems we face are our opportunity and define our human purpose.”

(Here’s video of Drew’s speech, and here’s Steve’s speech, which begins three minutes in.  ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.)