The hits come again and again. On football and soccer fields. On the hockey ice. In the rodeo arena. For the young and the aging, for amateurs and professionals, the results are the same. With each blow to the head, the brain sloshes around like the yolk inside of a raw egg. The invaluable, delicate tissue of the organ that defines who we are is bruised, sometimes torn and bleeding. The damage is permanent, but may take years to show itself to the victims and their loved ones. These are the stories of the parents, wives and relatives who watched their fathers, sons and brothers become scattered puzzle pieces before their eyes, unable to make them whole again because of a loss of control, of mental acuity, or even the will to live. Through their loss also comes the resolve to create change, to erase the stigma of brain injury, and forge a new path on which our brains are more valued than the fleeting profit and adulation that come in a mere game.
The families of Faces of CTE that came together to take grief and a pursuit for justice to make a difference in youth sports include: Kimberly Archie, Tiffani Bright, Jo Cornell, Debbie Pyka, Marcia Jenkins, Kim Jenkins, Darren Hamblin, Nikki Langston, Deb Ploetz, Kira Hoffman, Michele & Michael Grange, Cyndy Feasel, Keana McMahon, Leanne Pozzobon, Mary Seau & Solomon Brannan. Each chapter author has lost a loved one who was confirmed via brain autopsy of having brain damage, including CTE.