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Former NCAA Player’s Family Donates Brain to Research

two football players in a collisionIt was the spring of 2005 when Kevin Ellison graduated from Redondo Union High School early to enroll at the University of Southern California. He spent four years as an enforcer on the Trojans’ defense—building a reputation as a hard hitter during his time on the field.

He made his way to the National Football League as a sixth-round draft pick by the San Diego Chargers in 2009. A year later, the Chargers decided to release Kevin, and he never had the chance to make an impact in the pros the way he did in college.

The biggest story Kevin ever became a part of didn’t occur until long after he left the game of football. Kevin Ellison was killed on October 4, 2018, when he was fatally struck by a vehicle while walking on the Interstate 5 freeway in the San Fernando Valley area of Southern California.

Before his death, Kevin continuously displayed strange behavior. He was distant, depressed, and couldn’t sleep. His mom stated that Kevin had heard voices and talked to the sky. He was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Donating His Brain to CTE Research

A few days after Kevin’s death, his older brother Chris received a request from the Concussion Legacy Foundation for Kevin’s brain to be donated for research. Kevin’s mother signed a release just two hours later.

The Concussion Legacy Foundation, founded by former Harvard football player and professional wrestler Chris Nowinski, is committed to solving the concussion crisis in sports. Their mission is to show that reckless abandon in college football can lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy—one of the biggest problems amongst retired football players.

At Shrader & Associates, L.L.P., we hold a similar mission. However, our sports concussion lawyers also work hard on behalf of the injured and their families to hold negligence accountable. We work to help former student-athletes who suffer head injuries and their families through the necessary steps to pursue compensation; to pursue justice.

Call us today at (877) 958-7920.


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