Edward Cushman

Man with ALS who was gifted Super Bowl tickets dies in van fire while en route to game

A North Carolina man with ALS who got Super Bowl tickets through a nonprofit organization reportedly died in a car accident while en route to the game.

According to The Advocate, Ed Cushman, 39, was in a minivan driven by his older brother Saturday when the vehicle burst into flames on the side of Interstate 85 in Georgia. The brother had reportedly stopped on the side and stepped outside to investigate the 2007 Dodge Caravan after noticing smoke coming from underneath.

Police said it was moments later when the car became engulfed in flames, with Cushman trapped inside. The Advocate reported that the brother was unable to save Cushman, who was in a wheelchair and on a ventilator at the time.

Cushman reportedly perished in the van fire.

Cushman was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. Also called Lou Gehrig’s disease, the Mayo Clinic describes ALS as a progressive, incurable neurological disease which gradually kills a person’s nerve cells, eventually leaving them disabled. The cause of ALS is typically unknown and a majority of patients succumb to the disease within 5 years.

Please be in prayer for our family. We lost my brother, Edward Craig Cushman, in a freak accident while we were driving…

Posted by Rob Cushman on Sunday, February 3, 2019

Cushman reportedly reached out to Team Gleason for help obtaining Super Bowl LII tickets with Americans with Disabilities Act seating. The Louisana-based organization delivered, and the North Carolina man got a ride to the game from his older brother.

According to its website, Team Gleason was started by former New Orleans Saints safety Steve Gleason, 41. Gleason was in the NFL from 2000 until 2008 and was diagnosed with ALS in 2011. The nonprofit aims to provide and create cutting-edge assistive technology for ALS patients in addition to taking steps it hopes will “ultimately end ALS in our lifetime.”

Team Gleason said it was “saddened” by Cushman’s death in the following statement issued to WDSU:

“Our brief relationship with Ed’s family was filled with excitement, as Team Gleason secured the ADA Super Bowl tickets he requested. Like so many with ALS, Ed was passionate about living and he dreamed of going to the Super Bowl. We were honored to have played a small role in helping make that possible for such an amazing man.”

[Featured image: Ed Cushman/Facebook]