Kathie Lee Gifford Donated Frank Gifford's Brain to Science, Reveals He Suffered Trauma from Football Days

Kimberly RipleyLife

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Kathie Lee Gifford and her family announced this week that when Frank Gifford passed away of natural causes in August, they donated his brain to science.

In a statement to the media, Kathie Lee Gifford said, "We as a family made the difficult decision to have [Gifford's] brain studied in hopes of contributing to the advancement of medical research concerning the link between football and traumatic brain injury."

"Our suspicions that he was suffering from the debilitating effects of head trauma were confirmed when a team of pathologists recently diagnosed his condition as that of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)—a progressive degenerative brain disease," it said.

Frank Gifford spent his entire football career with the New York Giants. On Wednesday, the team issued a statement in regard to the statement Kathie Lee Gifford and her family shared.

"We have great respect and sympathy for the Gifford family," the statement reads. "We all miss Frank dearly. We support the family's decision to contribute to the discussion and research of an issue we take very seriously."

The effects of head injuries sustained while playing football have been of great concert recently. The deaths of several famous former players, including Junior Seau and Dave Duerson, have been tied to CTE. In 2013, NFL legend Tony Dorsett said that he had several signs of CTE.

"It is with the deepest sadness that we announce the sudden passing of our beloved husband, father and friend, Frank Gifford," Kathie Lee Gifford and her children said in a statement when Frank Gifford died in early August. "Frank died suddenly this beautiful Sunday morning of natural causes at his Connecticut home."

"We rejoice in the extraordinary life he was privileged to live, and we feel grateful and blessed to have been loved by such an amazing human being," the statement read. "We ask that our privacy be respected at this difficult time and we thank you for your prayers."

Kathie Lee Gifford and children Cody and Cassidy Gifford will no doubt work hard to keep Frank's memory alive, and have honored him by contributing to the medical research of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.

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.