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Former Patriots player will donate his brain to science

jamesJohn David Frechette’s professional football career didn’t last long. He spent parts of three seasons in the National Football League before injury ended the former college All-American’s career. Frechette played for the Boston Patriots and Green Bay Packers. 

Frechette died at Avow Hospice in Naples, Florida after battling Alzheimer’s disease. He was 71. The family felt it was right to donate the brain to scientists. 

John Frechette was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2011. His family saw the signs of dementia that other former players complained about 15 years earlier — depression, memory loss, mood swings.

With Frechette’s blessing, the family donated his brain, spinal cord and eyes to the Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center at Boston University. CTE is a degenerative brain disease found in athletes who have suffered repeated head trauma.

Junior Seau, Dave Duerson and Andre Waters — all former All-Pro NFL players who committed suicide — were posthumously diagnosed with CTE.

“We’re not blaming the NFL for anything,” said Sean Frechette, 41, John’s youngest son. “(The Alzheimer’s) may or may not have anything to do with football. Here’s an opportunity to prove it one way or another.”

 

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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