Patrick Grange was a skilled soccer player who played collegiate soccer for the University of Illinois-Chicago and later for the University of New Mexico. After college, Grange played in a semi-pro soccer league in Chicago. In his life, Grange suffered three concussions, one at the age of three, another at 17 and a third during his playing career which led to 17 stitches in his head. In 2011, Grange was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and passed away a year later. After his death, researchers at the VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank diagnosed him with stage 2 (of 4) Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), making him the first American soccer player to be diagnosed with the disease.
Grange will never be confused with the soccer greats Messi, Neymar, Ronaldo, and Ribery who converged on Brazil for the 2014 World Cup, but his impact is felt nonetheless. A high school soccer star in Albuquerque, N.M., Grange played at the collegiate and semi-professional levels. Like many soccer players, throughout his career he often headed the ball. At the age of 28 Grange was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) and in 2012, at 29, he died. When researchers examined his brain they found surprising evidence that could have long-term implications for soccer. E:60's Jeremy Schaap chronicles the life and death of Pat Grange, and his unintended legacy to the game he loved.
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