Dale Earnhardt Jr. To Donate A Crucial Body Part For Medical Research

Hendrick Motorsports

Like many athletes before him, NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. said that he plans to donate his brain for concussion research. In fact, he plants to donate “everything in one way or another.”

Earnhardt made the casual announcement on Twitter Saturday in response to a Sports Illustrated tweet about three members of the Oakland Raiders deciding to donate their brains to the Concussion Legacy Foundation, a group whose “mission it to elevate the understanding of the causes of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, the disease being linked to repeated blows to the head.”

But, 41-year old Earnhardt isn’t stopping there. 

Earnhardt suffered a concussion in April of 2002 followed by at least two more over the next decade. So far, Earnhardt shows no long-term side effects from the concussions, but a number of veteran NASCAR drivers haven’t been so fortunate. Fred Lorenzen, NASCAR Hall Of Famer, was diagnosed with dementia in 2009 along with short-term memory loss. Lorenzen was an active driver in 1958 through 1972, long before technology was in place to help prevent head injuries from head-on crashes. 

Similar brain injuries occur in football players and other athletes who are victims of repeated head injuries over the course of their careers. 

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