HOUSTON, Jan. 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Foreshadowing Super Bowl LI, families from kids to the pros who have lost loved ones to the tragic disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) have united to launch a comprehensive campaign including the first ever CTE Awareness Day January 30, 2017, a book by the same name, and a collaboration with the Mayo Clinic Brain Bank to autopsy youth and amateur athletes' brains.
"Every mom whose child has played tackle football or other repetitive brain trauma exposure sports needs to know what CTE is and the symptoms, so if their child dies of suicide, alcohol or drug abuse, or reckless behavior, they know to have their brain autopsied to find out if CTE was a factor," urged Kimberly Archie, sport risk management expert and mom of youth football CTE victim, Paul Bright Jr.
"Faces of CTE," the book, will be released in the Fall of 2017, showing the horrifying nightmare lived by its victims, and shining a light on how it is not just professional athletes dying from this disease, but kids who only played youth and/or high school collision sports. The total number of former athletes with CTE or other neuro-degenerative diseases is currently unknown. To date 48 out of 58 college football athletes examined had CTE, and 91 out of 95 former NFL players.
"CTE is not rare, it is rarely looked for. Millions of kids have been exposed in youth football alone, yet only 29 brains have ever been examined. 9 of them were positive for CTE. Kids are our future, Grant would want to be a part of protecting them," said Cyndy Feasel, author and wife of 29 years to former NFL player Grant Feasel, who died in 2012 with stage III CTE.
With 30 Alzheimer's brain banks in the United States, there is only one brain bank specifically for CTE. Faces of CTE families plan to change that.
"We want to build on the great work already being done by Boston University to increase the number of brain banks that examine brains for CTE. Collaborating with the Mayo Clinic for youth and amateur brains is the next important step in preventing, treating and finding a cure for CTE," shares Mary Seau, sister to NFL Hall of Famer Junior Seau, and founder of the Mary Seau CTE Awareness Foundation.
Beyond awareness and brain donations, the campaign also includes promoting flag football until 14 to prevent CTE and protect young children's brains. The program will be overseen by former college and NFL players.
Larry Mallory, former New York Giant, Ft. Worth Police Action League (PAL) Flag Football Organizer and Save Your Brain Flag Football Director explains, "As a former NFL athlete, I feel compelled to protect children and the game. Helping CTE moms and promoting flag until 14 is not only the right thing to do, but the most effective approach to reach these goals."
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SOURCE Faces of CTE