CTE: Invisible Destroyer of Young Ex-Athletes’ LivesMarch 25, 2019
You and your children only get one brain — keep it healthy and it will last a lifetime.
Brain Damaged — Two Minute Warning for Parents is an honest and celebratory anthology of extraordinary lives lost to CTE, and the recognition of the families’ courage in supporting their loved ones through a protracted and difficult journey.
In the world before CTE Awareness
Brain Damaged is a heart-felt cautionary tale as told by Faces of CTE families. They all trusted their children, exceptional athletes in contact/collision sports, to coaches in town, school, college and pro athletic programs unaware of the dire and fatal consequences because no one talked about CTE. It is not that it hadn’t be reported, or that coaches didn’t know, or that colleges didn’t care, or that pro sports were ignorant of the problem. CTE was the dirty secret kept from parents so that the collision/contact sports industry could groom and maintain it’s labor force.
Goal: End CTE
Brain Damaged’s ultimate goals are to highlight the fraud perpetrated by the sports industry; the changes required to stop preventable injuries to the body, organs, and brain via repetitive hits; and the decision to protect kids by putting “brains before games.” There are many safe games that offer individual and/or team competitions that build the same skills without physically or mentally harming the players.
Problems show up after the game
Brain Damaged offers compelling stories that both honor the deceased athletes and chronicle their difficult journey. The best and brightest young men find their lives falling apart years after they had left the game. Since there’s no cure, they and their families struggled with symptoms that can’t be controlled that lead to the loss of their athlete by suicide or intentional recklessness.
The pain is real.
The stories tell of smart, handsome, happy, caring young men who earned honors academically and athletically, who, for no apparent reason, lose their confidence, become introverted, fail to use judgment, can’t focus, and are confused as to how their life of promise has turned to shit. Parents, siblings, relatives, and friends valiantly tried to stem the slide and support the young men. They had no idea that they were dealing with brain damage.
Brain Damage from CTE
All the families in the book became aware of the studies of athletes’ brains and decided to participate. That’s when they found out, months later, that brains in young men we equivalent to brains of old men with dementia. If they had known is was the outcome of playing collision/contact sports, they never would have allowed their child to play.
Decision tools for parents prior to signing up for a sports program
Included in Brain Damaged are the tools to make a conscious decision regarding sports for your children. We all only get one brain. It is our responsibility to keep our brain and our children’s brain as healthy as possible. As parents, we want to ensure our children have all the opportunities to live a long and quality life. This does not happen on its own. Our decisions are critical. While we can’t envision or account for every possibility, we can employ the facts so that nobody else has to live through the stories of the Faces of CTE families.
A resource: In addition to stories, the is a rundown of CTE symptoms, injuries suffered in the 2018 tackle football season, and a list of questions to ask at every coach prior to sign-up.
Jo Cornell, mother of the late Tyler Winston Cornell said it best, “No game, no winning season, no trophy, is worth a life. Not my son’s life, not the life of any young man [or woman].”
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Photo Credit: Brain Damaged Cover courtesy of Kimberly Archie
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