Mike and Kim Adamle have gone through hell and back trying to figure out why the former football standout started to have difficulty doing simple, every day tasks a few years ago.
What started as memory loss and difficulty with motor skills, has since been diagnosed as symptoms of CTE. CTE cannot be diagnosed before a person’s death, but nearly all of his symptoms and past, point to CTE.
For Mike, his depression has been debilitating at times, but with the help of his wife Kim, he has been able to break through the sadness to help others deal with similar situations.
“There’s a lot of guys who don’t want to be seen anymore,” Mike Adamle said. “They’ve just kind of given up if that’s possible.”
For Kim, raising awareness about CTE and brain injuries hasn’t been easy for them. The balance between spreading a message for the greater good and trying to avoid embarrassing your husband and maintaining some privacy has been difficult.
“Part of the problem in making CTE, the devastation, apparent and bringing that kind of awareness is we have to share our stories,” Kim Adamle said. “We’ve been reluctant to do that because I think the NFL and the NFL players is the biggest example of where CTE is a problem right now. We hold our football players and NFL stars in very high esteem.”
Adamle starred at running back at Northwestern and was a fourth round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs in 1971. Adamle spent six seasons with three teams in the NFL, including the Chicago Bears in 1975 and 1976.
Watch more from the Adamles in the video above.
This is all part of a larger message and project from the NBC Sports Regional Networks.
Religion of Sports — the media company founded by Tom Brady, Michael Strahan and Gotham Chopra — has partnered with NBC Sports regional networks for a new one-hour documentary addressing the issue of mental health in sports. “HeadStrong: Mental Health and Sports” is executive produced by six-time NFL Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall.
“Mental health issues have been pushed to the forefront of our national conversation,” Ted Griggs, president, Group Leader and Strategic Production & Programming, NBC Sports Regional Networks, added. “Thanks to athletes like Brandon Marshall, Kevin Love, Michael Phelps and Missy Franklin, and executives such as NBA commissioner Adam Silver, we know that our sports heroes face mental health challenges, just like so many others. We hope this project will advance that conversation and show people that resources and assistance are available to everyone.”