Just over two years ago, Graham and Cathy Thomas tragically lost their 17-year-old son Zander, an avid hockey player who was on the recovery trail from a concussion.
Since losing Zander in 2013, the Thomas's launched the UNTOLD Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to concussion education with a focus on the mental health issues that can come as a result of brain injury.
Below is a full transcription of Graham Thomas' interview:
On his son, Alexander:
Oh, Alexander loved Hockey. He played a lot of hockey growing up. Age seven through 16 at a very elite level here in the United States and wasn't a huge checker but absorbed many hits over the time period. He had many, many blows where guys would crush him into the boards. He said, “Dad, I blacked out during the game,” and as he says he blacks out I'm like but you weren't laying on the ice. He gets diagnosed, he's out for three weeks and then gets allowed to play and while he's playing he seems okay but at the end of that weekend was when he decided to take his own life.
What is Graham's mission?
We felt invincible. We had all of the imPACT testing, we had all of the pre-screening as far as concussion goes but what we didn't know were the symptoms of a concussion. I believe our foundation, the Untold Foundation, and my son's legacy is that we have to make sure that everyone is educated properly. In partnership with the Concussion Legacy Foundation, we're pushing very strong to make sure that everybody in America, or the world, understands what a concussion is, what are the symptoms, and what do you do.
The My Legacy campaign was launched to recognize individuals who have made a lasting contribution to research and awareness of concussions and CTE, and encourages others to pitch in and create their own legacy. To read more about the campaign and learn how you can participate, click here.