New Jersey Devils defenseman Ben Lovejoy pledges to donate brain to Concussion Legacy Foundation to support research
(Newark) – The Concussion Legacy Foundation announced today that New Jersey Devils defenseman and 2016 Stanley Cup Champion Ben Lovejoy has pledged to donate his brain to the Concussion Legacy Foundation (CLF) to support research on Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and concussions, becoming the first active NHL player to pledge his brain.
“Hockey has been so good to me. Hockey has helped me make a ton of friends, travel the country and the world, get into an Ivy league school, and has given me an amazing job that has paid me really well for 11 years,” said Lovejoy. “For 33 years now, my life has revolved, almost exclusively, around hockey. I have pledged to donate my brain to the Concussion Legacy Foundation to give back to the sport that has given me so much, with the hope that it can continue to get safer.”
Lovejoy’s brain pledge was made as part of the Foundation’s My Legacy campaign to encourage athletes to make a lasting contribution to concussion and CTE research. More than 2,500 former athletes and military veterans have pledged to donate their brain to the Concussion Legacy Foundation since 2008, including more than 1,000 in 2017 alone. Individuals with sports or military backgrounds of any kind are encouraged to pledge their brain to research at ConcussionFoundation.org/pledge.
“I hope I live until I'm 90-plus years old and concussion issues and CTE are cured long before my brain is looked at by the doctors,” Lovejoy said. “I am lucky. I have had very little head trauma throughout my career. But I have had teammates, both high profile stars and minor role players, who have struggled with concussions. By pledging to donate my brain, I hope it helps the team at Concussion Legacy Foundation and their collaborators at Boston University and the VA continue their work to cure concussions and CTE.”
“We are honored by Ben Lovejoy’s brain pledge,” said Chris Nowinski, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation. “Brain donation is critical to developing methods to prevent and treat neurologic disorders. Professional athletes can create better outcomes for themselves, their teammates, and their children by pledging their brain or raising funds, and we hope Mr. Lovejoy’s pledge encourages others to join him in support of the Concussion Legacy Foundation.”
The Concussion Legacy Foundation is the outreach and recruiting arm of the VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank, a partnership with Boston University and the US Department of Veterans Affairs and led by Dr. Ann McKee. The Brain Bank is now the world’s largest CTE brain bank with subspecialties in concussion, ALS, and other consequences of brain trauma. More than 460 brains have been donated, resulting in over 285 CTE diagnoses, more than 70 percent of confirmed CTE cases globally.
Earlier this year, the Concussion Legacy Foundation announced that two-time Stanley Cup Champion and retired 14-year NHL veteran Craig Adams, 1992 Stanley Cup Champion and 14-year NHL standout Shawn McEachern, Olympic gold medalist, college national champion and 1999 USA Hockey Women’s Player of the Year AJ Griswold, former Boston Bruins star Bob Sweeney, and retired NHL veteran Ted Drury had all pledged their brains to CLF. In 2008, Keith Primeau was the first former NHL star to pledge his brain.
Everyone who pledges their brain to the Concussion Legacy Foundation receives a personalized brain donor card and an informational packet about the brain donation process. Those who pledge are encouraged to spread the word to friends, family and former teammates about the importance of brain trauma research, and to share why they pledged using #MyLegacy.
About Ben Lovejoy:
Ben Lovejoy is a 10-year NHL veteran who has spent time with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Anaheim Ducks and New Jersey Devils. Lovejoy played a key role in helping the Penguins win the 2016 Stanley Cup. Lovejoy was a standout hockey and lacrosse player at Dartmouth College, where he graduated in 2007.