Kathie Lee Gifford and the children of her late husband, Frank, say they were always suspicious that he was suffering from the debilitating effects of head trauma after 12 years on the playing field.
Now, they are donating the NFL Hall of Famer’s brain to science.
The Gifford family says in a statement released Thanksgiving Eve: "We made the difficult decision to have his brain studied in hopes of contributing to the advancement of medical research concerning the link between football and traumatic brain injury."
A team of pathologists recently confirmed that Frank had a degenerative brain disease called Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.
Frank died at age 84 last August in his Connecticut home from natural causes.
“We decided to disclose our loved one’s condition to honor Frank’s legacy of promoting player safety dating back to his involvement in the formation of the NFL Players Association in the 1950s," the family said in the statement.
They also continued: "His entire adult life Frank was a champion for others, but especially for those without the means or platform to have their voices heard. He was a man who loved the National Football League until the day he passed, and one who recognized that it was—and will continue to be—the players who elevated this sport to its singular stature in American society."