March is Autoimmune and Brain Injury Awareness Month
Former NFL Dallas Cowboy and Arizona State University football star, Darryl Clack teams up with Grammy® and Dove award nominated songwriter and singer, Dayna Caddell to continue spreading awareness for autoimmune illness (AI) and brain injuries with the ‘PUSH for Awareness’ campaign during March, autoimmune and brain Injury awareness month.
Because the entertainment and sports industries rely heavily on performance, Caddell and Clack have teamed up to shed light on these rare illnesses to encourage entertainers as well as the general public, that there is life after diagnosis.
Autoimmune illnesses remain among the most poorly understood and poorly recognized of any category of illness where individual diseases range from benign to severe.
Brain injuries are unique. The brain can receive several different types of injuries depending on the type of force and amount of force that impacts the head.
In 2012, Caddell was diagnosed with an ambiguous autoimmune illness-her symptoms; swelling, fatigue, brain fog, achy joints, and chronic inflammation-mimic several AI illnesses. To bring more light to AI, she launched the ‘PUSH for Awareness’ campaign to encourage and inspire those suffering from one of the many diseases as well as to provide a better understanding why there need to be more effective methods of diagnosis and treatment.
Clack decided to team up with Caddell to continue the push after he suffered a stroke in October 2016 brought on by Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP). TTP is a rare blood disorder, under the autoimmune umbrella, where blood clots form in small blood vessels throughout the body. The clots can limit or block the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the body’s organs, such as the brain, kidneys, and heart. As a result, serious health problems can develop including memory loss, concentration, and fatigue.
In addition, in July 2016, Clack learned of his stage-one dementia diagnose, due to the many hits to the head from playing football-repeated head trauma causes cognitive deficits caused by both illnesses.
Currently, Caddell and Clack are working on separate projects to further rare disease awareness. Caddell is working on a lifestyle blog, and Clack is writing a book.