LIVING WITH CTE: MIKE ADAMLE SO FAR

We recently did another shoot for @CurePSP but this time it was about CTE and former NFL running back and broadcaster Mike Adamle, the first living person diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). It’s an incurable degenerative brain disease thought to be caused by repeated blows to the head suffered in contact sports like football. 

Mike and his family have fully committed to sharing his story as a way to bring awareness and dialog to the issue. 

CTE has been in the news off and on since 2005 when Dr. Bennett Omalu first published his findings confirming the disease existed in football players. So many players are now finding that after outstanding careers in the NFL they now have to deal with the tragic result of playing the game they loved so much. Yet it seems there is no solution. Not helmet or other technology and so far not any changes to the rules. Violent hits are fundamental to pro football. 

These images capture Mike with his wife Kim and their daughters Svetlana and Alex during a typical day. The daughters have moved back home to join Kim as they work together as a family to help Mike fight this horrible disease. Characteristic of CTE is loss of executive function as well as mood swings and anger. Kim has put together a highly structured program for Mike that helps him keep his life on track. The practice ballroom dancing and walk on the beach across from their apartment to improve Mike's motor skills. And while he does not drive anymore, he rides his bike to the nearby Northwestern University gym to work out and maintain his fitness. Although they can’t stop the progression of CTE, the Adamle family are showing that there are things you can do to markedly improve quality of life. 

Photos by ©Doug Menuez, on assignment for @CurePSP a nonprofit foundation, which provides patient and family advocacy, information and education, and research funding for prime of life neurodegenerative diseases, including CTE. While currently incurable, CurePSP and others are working diligently to find a cure while helping to improve the lives of patients and families.

Doug Menuez