New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson is donating $5 million to former Saints player Steve Gleason, whom he called a "NFL legend" for the way he and his Team Gleason charity are working to aid ALS patients and search for a cure.

Gleason, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2011, has become world-renowned for his diligent and innovative efforts to improve the lives of others with similar conditions.

Benson's donation will help to operate the Team Gleason House for Innovative Living, which is scheduled to open this summer in New Orleans. The house is only the second of its kind in the United States and will allow 18 patients with incurable neuro-muscular disorders live more independently.

"Steve is already defying odds," Benson said. "And through his work to find a cure for ALS, along the way he is making the lives of those living with ALS more meaningful and independent through the Team Gleason House.

"There is no better place than New Orleans, a city that now leads the way rather than follows. And there is no better person that Steve to inspire those living with ALS. This is one small gesture to help see this great project develop. "Steve is part of the Saints family, but he is an NFL Legend to those that he affects and we are most proud of him."

The news of Benson's donation was first reported by Peter King's