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Mackey's wife fuels crusade against head injuries

By David Ginsburg

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Nov. 11 2011 11:10 a.m. MST

FILE - In this March 22, 2007 file photo, Hall of Fame tight end John Mackey shows off his Super Bowl V rings at his Baltimore home. Mackey died in 2011 after a 10-year battle with dementia. His wife, Syvia, remained by his side throughout, and she continues to show her support by educating parents, mental health providers and athletes about sports-related head injuries.

Steve Ruark, File, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

BALTIMORE — Hall of Fame tight end John Mackey preferred to run through tacklers rather than avoid them. Back in the 1960s, there was very little understanding about the danger of repeated hits to the head.

Mackey died in July 2011 after a 10-year battle with dementia. His wife, Sylvia, remained by his side throughout. She continues to show her support by educating parents, mental health providers and athletes about sports-related head injuries.

She says her crusade helps honors the legacy of her husband.

Sylvia Mackey will appear Monday in Baltimore as a part of a forum to discuss mental health and disabilities caused by head trauma. She will be joined by former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher, M.D., and former NFL players Eric Hipple and Mark Kelso.

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