Junior Seau's sister on the fight against CTE - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Junior Seau's sister on the fight against CTE

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – Hall of Famer Junior Seau’s sister, Mary Seau, joined the fight against traumatic brain injuries – six years after his death to honor her brother’s legacy with a foundation to raise awareness of CTE.

As an NFL star, he was larger than life and one of the toughest linebackers to play the game, but off the field Junior Seau had a painful secret that slowly pushed him to a breaking point.

Mary Seau said family members had no idea her brother was suffering until May of 2012 – when he took his own life.

“Honestly, I did not see anything. I even asked my kids, ‘you hung out with uncle Junior more than I did, what did you see?’”

An examination of Seau’s brain revealed the damage caused by years of hard hitting football.

“I was really surprised when it came across the news that he had CTE. If he did not do what he had done, this would have been a secret,” said Mary.

CTE is a degenerative brain disease found in people with a history of repetitive brain trauma – often athletes. Symptoms can include: headaches, confusion, depression, memory loss and paranoia.

Being a beloved figure in sports, Seau’s death has raised awareness about the disease.

Now, his sister is doing her part to carry on his legacy. In 2016, she founded the Mary Seau Foundation to help educate the public on CTE and traumatic brain injuries.

“We are out here to help these people out- brain survivors we call them,” she said.

Mary said a big part of saving others is getting them proper treatment – something her brother did not know how to do.

Six years after his death, Mary said the family’s relationship with football is complicated.

“It’s a struggle because we lived with football,” she said.

Despite her brother having so much passion for the game, she believes if he were alive today, “Junior today would have said do not let your kids play football because he knows.”

Mary Seau's CTE conference will take place Saturday, March 31st.

"Keynote Speaker: Dr Chris Nowinski from Boston University

Time: 10am-2:30pm

Place: Hotel Karlan San Diego

14455 Penasquitos Dr San Diego CA

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