Former WWE wrestler Mark Henry pledges his brain to CTE research
Former professional wrestler, Olympian, and powerlifter Mark Henry has earned his title as the World’s Strongest Man time and time again throughout his career. Now that he is retired, though, he says he is working to leave an even larger impact on the world.
This week, the former World Heavyweight champion revealed that he has pledged to donate his brain for CTE research while talking with former wrestler and Concussion Legacy Foundation co-founder Chris Nowinski.
The conversation arose on Nowinski’s SiriusXM show Busted Open, as the host discussed the recent milestones hit by the CLF and the brain bank it operates with the US Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University.
“The best way to study the brain is after they pass away, so you can know on a cellular level what’s happening,” Nowinski said. “We just got our 700th brain donation and we’re constantly getting athletes to pledge [their brains], so we can build awareness and do studies while they are still alive. We have 5,000 athletes that have pledged their name and it’s important to get famous athletes [to spotlight the issue].”
This motivated Henry to chime in and announce his own plans to donate his brain to the research center.
“I definitely want to go on record that I’m donating my brain to the brain bank, and I hope that something good can come out of y’all having my brain,” Henry said. “Maybe it will help with figuring out how things work in the future that will benefit my kids and everyone else’s kids…. We always want the future to be better for our families and your families, speaking of the fans out there that have kids playing sports. And some of you parents, you weekend warriors. Like, you get a ding, get some help.”
In addition to hoping his brain will be useful for investigating the effects of repeated brain trauma, Henry says he hopes donations like his will help de-stigmatize donating organs for research.