Concussion Legacy Foundation launches Project Enlist, powered by Infinite Hero Foundation, to accelerate brain trauma research in military and veteran communities

Friday, July 20, 2018

Don Schumacher Racing team makes historic brain pledge to raise awareness of Project Enlist and encourage military and veteran communities to pledge their brains to the fight against TBI, PTSD, and CTE


Don Schumacher Racing driver Tommy Johnson Jr. with his brain donor card. Auto Imagery

(Morrison, CO) – Today, the Concussion Legacy Foundation (CLF) announced the launch of CLF Project Enlist, a campaign to accelerate research into the effects of brain trauma in military veterans by encouraging the military and veteran communities to pledge to donate their brain to science. Powered by Infinite Hero Foundation (IHF), the program was announced at a press conference including over a dozen military veterans as well as Don Schumacher Racing (DSR). All seven drivers of the DSR team, along with team patriarch and racing legend, Don Schumacher, pledged to donate their brains to the Concussion Legacy Foundation to raise awareness of Project Enlist and to show their solidarity with the veteran community.

CLF and IHF leadership were proud to be joined by the first group of pledges to Project Enlist, including IHF spokesperson and NHRA mainstay Gary Linfoot, former Marine Michael Wilson, and retired NAVY SEALS Jason Redman, Alexander Oliver, and Morgan Luttrell, who currently serves as Senior Advisor for Veterans Relations at the U.S. Department of Energy.

“Brain donation has proven to be the best accelerator of research on CTE, and through Project Enlist, we will make major strides to support our veterans who experience the effects of brain trauma after serving our country,” said Chris Nowinski, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation.

“I consider it an honor and privilege to have the opportunity to pledge my brain to the Concussion Legacy Foundation and Project Enlist. I know firsthand how much this research can help other veterans now and in the future,” said Luttrell. “I hope more of my brothers and sisters will join me in pledging their brain so that we can be a part of solving the problem and finding the solution for those suffering from brain injuries.”

CLF is the outreach and recruiting collaborator of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs-Boston University-Concussion Legacy Foundation (VA-BU-CLF) Brain Bank. Led by Dr. Ann McKee, brain bank researchers are making breakthroughs in our understanding of the long-term effects of brain trauma and brain injury, including traumatic brain injury (TBI), chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease, and how they relate to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank is the world’s largest CTE brain bank. More than 600 brains have been donated since 2008, resulting in over 325 CTE diagnoses, accounting for more than 70 percent of confirmed CTE cases globally.

At 4:30 p.m. MDT, Schumacher and his roster of drivers signed the paperwork, making their commitment official. More than 3,500 former and current athletes and military veterans have pledged to donate their brains for research since 2008, but DSR’s public declaration at Bandimere Speedway during the Dodge Mile-High National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Nationals marked the first time an entire team has made the commitment.

When Schumacher heard about the program, he felt compelled to get involved and help raise awareness for Project Enlist. After hearing of his pledge, each of Schumacher’s seven drivers – Jack Beckman, Antron Brown, Ron Capps, Matt Hagan, Tommy Johnson Jr., Leah Pritchett and Tony Schumacher – followed suit.

Schumacher hopes that his team’s public proclamation will help to remove the stigma associated with traumatic brain injuries and inspire others to step forward and make the commitment to pledge their brains to science at this link.

About Infinite Hero Foundation:
A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Infinite Hero Foundation combats the most difficult front line issues – mental and physical – facing returning military heroes and their families. The Foundation funds programs that drive innovation and the accessibility of effective treatments for active duty and veterans dealing with service-related mental and physical injuries. For more information, please visit: www.infinitehero.org.

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