Brandi Chastain, Women's World Cup Champ, Donating Brain to Science

Kimberly RipleyLife

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Brandi Chastain, a member of the 1999 U.S. Women's Soccer Team, is donating her brain to science. Concerned with all the news in recent years about the affects of brain injuries later in life, Chastain wants her brain studied, in hopes someone might benefit from what researchers learn.

According to a report from Fox Sports, Brandi Chastain announced on Thursday she is donating her brain to the VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank, a joint project with the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University School of Medicine, upon her death.

"It is really about: How I can help impact soccer beyond scoring a goal in 1999 in the World Cup final. Can I do something more to leave soccer in a better place than it was when I began this wonderful journey with this game?" she said.

Researchers at the BU School of Medicine are studying the "postmortem human brain and spinal cord tissue in hopes of diagnosing and treating chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a degenerative condition caused by a blow or blows to the head."

While many suffering from CTE are former football players, soccer players sustain some serious blows, too. Although Brandi Chastain isn't positive if she has sustained concussions, she suspects she has.

"You just shook it off back then," she said.

Brandi Chastain played for the U.S. national team from 1988-2004. She was on the team that won the inaugural Women's World Cup in 1991, as well as its second in 1999.

Kudos to Brandi Chastain for having the foresight to make this kind of post-mortem donation. Hopefully researchers will look much about CTE, that will allow further protection of athletes in the future.

Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.