Former WWE star Christopher Nowinski was on Busted Open Radio earlier this morning talking about his work with concussions. The co-founder and President of the Concussion Legacy Foundation (CLF), Nowinski has made it a career to inform people about and study the effects of concussions on individuals. Those who have passed on help answer the questions of how CTE affects the brain. During the segment, Nowinski spoke about how he sometimes has to call widows of recently deceased athletes in order to study on their brain.
The organization gets over 5,000 alive athletes to pledge to donate their brain, and they recently had their 700th brain donation. WWE Hall of Famer Mark Henry, who is a co-host on the show and someone who has had multiple concussions in the past, stated on air that he plans to donate his brain to the CLF for research.
"I definitely want to go on record saying I am donating my brain to the brain bank," Henry went on to say. "I hope that something good can come out of ya'll having my brain, maybe it'll help with figuring out how things work in the future that will be benefitting my kids and everybody else's kids. I know you (Chris) have a beautiful young baby girl and we always want the future to be better for our families."
Nowinski, a Tough Enough finalist, debuted on WWE TV in 2002. His career was cut short due to post-concussion syndrome, which forced him to retire around 2003/04. Since then, he has helped with the discovery of CTE, while also providing a service for athletes and those in the military. He was the lead advocate for doctors to research Chris Benoit's brain after the 2007 tragedy that took him and his families life. He and the rest of the Benoit family have since made the Benoit Family Fund for Brain Injury Research.
Henry has been with WWE since 1996, taking on a backstage role recently. Before pro wrestling, Henry was a record-holding weight and powerlifter. A multiple-time World Champion, Henry's goal is to avoid any young kid to go through what former athletes have in the past, by spreading awareness.
"I hope that people realize that this is something that is not weird. What would be hard I think would be what you just said: after someone nearly passes away, it is hard to ask their spouse for their brain for science," Henry continued. "I am a donor, I hope that I can help somebody live if something tragically happened to me. This is another way that I'll be able to give back when I'm gone."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Busted Open with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.