US congressman, David Cicilline has pledged to donate his brain to concussion research after listening to the testimony of former NFL players about traumatic brain injury
The Democratic lawmaker from Rhode Island who played Pop Warner football in his youth, agreed to make the donation after he dies in order to help researchers study the effects and impacts of the widespread injury that is usually caused by a serious blow to the head or body.
According to the Providence Journal, Cicilline made the announcement during a forum on the Hill on Friday, during which a panel of researchers from Boston University said their study showed an overwhelming majority of the brains — 110 out of the 111 donated to the study from deceased NFL players showed signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
When the lawmaker asked at the forum how the Congress could assist, the head of the Concussion Legacy Foundation replied by asking him if he would be willing to donate his own brain for the research.
“After I’m dead. Not today. Absolutely,” he responded.
Speaking to the Journal a day after the panel, the 56-year-old said: “I had to call my mother to let her know. Just listening to the testimony and listening to what a serious issue this is and what the implications are for players, both young people, and players who play in high school.
‘If I can help in some small way by contributing to the research and make it so that parents and young people have better information about what the impact is of head trauma in contact sports, then I am happy to do it,” Cicilline told the newspaper.