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NFL Brain Collector Shows Violence in Slices of Gray Matter March 27, 2010

Posted by intebic in Uncategorized.
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Five years of hell ended in a hard death. Those are the widow’s words.

Her husband, Lou Creekmur, suffered 13 broken noses and 16 concussions as a Hall-of-Fame lineman for the National Football League’s Detroit Lions, and in retirement saw 14 doctors who couldn’t explain his anger and forgetfulness. Toward the end he would chase his wife in rages, apologizing later. He died at 82 on July 5, 2009, on a bed three inches too short, in a hospice eight miles from home. Then Chris Nowinski called.

His voice was soft like her husband’s when his mind was right, the widow recalled. Nowinski, with his own concussion history in football and wrestling, introduced himself as a co- founder of the Boston University School of Medicine Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy. He wanted a donation: Lou Creekmur’s brain.

“My husband died a hard death, and I did not know what was wrong,” Caroline Creekmur, 67, said in an interview from her home in Plantation, Florida, 30 miles north of Miami. After consulting with the family, she consented to Nowinski’s request.

“I wanted to know why this happened.”

So did Nowinski. The 31-year-old Harvard University graduate — who as “Chris Harvard” taunted World Wrestling Entertainment fans with his Ivy-League smarts — is on a quest: to prove that brain damage is widespread in men, women and children who engage in sports involving repeated collisions, and to persuade professional leagues, colleges and high schools to change their rules to save lives.

Donating Their Brains

Nowinski is amassing what he thinks is the first brain bank in the U.S. dedicated to the study of head trauma.

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