The Uncounted Victims of CTE: The Families

The Uncounted Victims of CTE: The Families

I’ve always cared deeply about the well-being of children. It’s my soft spot, and it’s a big one. Children come into this life pure, innocent, trusting and loving. It is our responsibility as adults to care for children, provide for children, teach children, provide good examples for children, provide as much stability in their lives as possible, and most of all – the very most of all – to love them unconditionally.

So what about the children? What about the families? What if we could reduce or stop the suffering and even provide possible solutions for parties with no hope?

We read more and more these days about former pro football players struggling with symptoms consistent with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). The struggle is real, and it is daunting. But we are only getting small little glimpses of the difficulty that these brain injuries present to families. What if we can help another child keep a father or a mother? What if the pain and suffering is avoidable and one life could be saved?

Junior Seau left behind four children.
Tony Dorsett’s sudden bursts of anger toward his wife and daughters upset family harmony and makes them fearful of him.
Justin’s Strzelczyk’s ex-wife says had she understood what was really going on (CTE) she “wouldn’t have divorced him…we would have had different discussions.”
Jim McMahon’s girlfriend has watched his decline right before her eyes.
Mike Webster’s family relationships and finances deteriorated. His widow spoke about it on-camera.

But this is not only affecting professional football players. The problem spreads to a much larger pool of players: College athletes.

Zack Langston left behind beloved siblings and a young son.
By the age of 25, Will Keck had lost the ability to work and had become completely dependent on his wife.
And there are the 717,000 more college players AND their families who are facing and will face the challenges of brain injury and concussion-related conditions.

I care very deeply for those who are vulnerable among us

Taking care of children is a motivating theme in my life. I care very deeply for those who are vulnerable among us.

My days on the recruiting trail for Southern Methodist University and other schools’ football programs took me into some heart-wrenching situations. I sat in homes with dirt floors and had young men beg me to let them play for our team so they could go to college and escape inevitable lives in poverty, or even as drug dealers. It broke my heart to see their desire and desperation for hope.

I have personally, with my mentors, delivered eyeglasses to impoverished children in Africa, to help provide basic needs that we take for granted in the USA. I have helped build schools; I have financially sponsored the education of many young people who would not be able to attend school otherwise. I have seen the personal rewards of financially sponsoring and enabling the education of many young people who would not be able to attend school otherwise. I founded a group of preschools to provide early learning opportunities that provide hope and opportunity for children to grow and thrive. Life IS hard at times, but working with young people and children always seemed simple and easy for me.

Everyone has a G in their life, maybe more than one. Every player has family members and children that they love.

I am always thinking of the children, and it’s because I have one child in my life that is very, very dear to me: my daughter, “G.” Everyone has a G in their life, maybe more than one. Every player has family members and children that they love. And that gives them reasons to live; to live for them.

I want to find answers to brain injury problems. Answers that help protect those dearest relationships with spouses, siblings and children.

My mission is helping my peers. My motivation is my daughter and all of the other families working to meet this challenge.

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