BEVERLY HILLS, Feb. 24, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Bruce Parkman, along with his family, is the founder of the Mac Parkman Foundation for Adolescent Concussive Trauma. Her personal story of her 17-year-old son’s suicide inspired her to spread awareness about chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the dangers of early age, contact sports and mental illness.
Bruce recalls, “Our journey began on September 26, 2020 when our son posted a video saying he was ending his life… that he had been suffering from major depression, schizophrenia. All unknown to us. We searched desperately for him. He was found the next day. Our son walked. To run. From a 100 foot rock. Which leaves us with many, many questions and no answers.
… The coroner who performed our son’s autopsy was taking a course on Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) … and asked me a question about ‘Does my son have concussions?’ I said yes, about three. Three different sports – seasons – and he said, “Well, maybe you’d like to check that out?”
And so began a journey of speaking to people and learning what CTE was. Does it affect children? Our son ended up at Boston University Brain Bank, which is managed by the Concussion Legacy Foundation with all the NFL players up there.
He lived! He lived! He was loved. Why wasn’t he here?”
Listen to the full episode with host Bruce Parkman on the Kid’s Brains Matter Podcast.
The Mission of Foundation for Adolescent Concussive Trauma (FACT):
The foundation’s message is very clear: to educate parents about the risks of contact sports at an age when the child’s brain is still developing. Parkman emphasized, “We have to wait until children’s brains are ready to deal with the trauma of contact sports.”
Mental illness: A consequence of contact sports injuries at an early age
Through the FACT partnerships, her knowledge and understanding of brain research and the connections between age, sport duration, sports brain trauma and mental illness has grown immensely.
Parkman says, “As the podcast series winds down and we begin to talk about subconcussion trauma and concussion-related trauma in the brain, it’s important for all of us to understand that our children’s brains are Development.”
Delay contact sports during critical years of brain development
Parkman reflected on his son’s athletic journey. “Our son started doing sports when he was six years old,” he recalls. “He wanted to wrestle…then he wanted to play football…then he skied and snowboarded…”
The constant exercise schedule Mac went through growing up is something he wishes he could change. “It wasn’t the concussions that hit our son, it was his lifestyle… He had a month and a half off to rest his brain…” he recalls solemnly.
The Foundation’s Advice to Parents
The Parkman family is devastated and doesn’t want any other family to suffer like they do. Parkman’s appeal is deeply painful, but he hopes the foundation will make a difference. “I’m asking you to listen to me and my family because you don’t want to be here… If my son had chosen a different sport or not played a sport, he would be here. The message is, just wait! Let them enjoy life as a kid… A football season. No back to back.”
There will be valuable interviews and information for parents and carers with experts in the fields of sports, brain development and concussion. Parkman hopes to “speak about what we need to do to change how society views contact sports as children… Contact sports are great. It’s America! But not for children.”
The Mac Parkman Foundation for Adolescent Concussive Trauma Vision: Creating a one-stop community of trust for parents, coaches, athletic trainers, and athletes to educate themselves about the risks of concussion-related trauma to our youth, with a particular focus on the risks of multiple concussions, sub -Concussion trauma and long term management and identification of issues including physical pain/trauma, depression and other related mental health issues.
Our Mission: To serve as the information, resource, and communication resource for the community of parents, coaches/athletic trainers, medical professionals, and athletes affected by sports-related concussion, and to raise awareness of the long-term effects concussion and subconcussion trauma have on our Children, including physical pain and emotional/mental health issues such as depression, personality disorders, and other mental health issues. We will support this mission through collaboration with other sports, medical, educational and military organizations, advertising, fundraising and communication.
Visit mpfact.com to learn more.
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Bruce Parkman, host and founder of the Mac Parkman Foundation, starts Kid’s Brains Matter Podcast