Stories about: football

Football and family: Overcoming brachial plexus birth palsy

Brachial plexus patient plays football
(Photo credit: Ray Labbe)

Chase is only a few months away from fulfilling a lifelong dream; playing college football. It’s a dream thousands of other kids across the country will be living out this fall — but they aren’t like Chase.

“The first time I saw Chase was in 2000,” says Dr. Peter Waters, Orthopedic Surgeon-in-Chief and director of the Brachial Plexus Program at Boston Children’s. “He was six months old when his parents brought him in, and had a severe brachial plexus injury to his right side.” To correct this nerve injury that occurs during birth, Chase would undergo nerve surgery on his arm in 2001, and another two surgeries on his shoulder in 2003. He would continue to need life-long physical therapy as he grew and will always have limited use of his right arm.

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Athletes at risk: Knowing the dangers of heat stroke

exertional heat stroke athletes

For many young athletes, fall sports practices have already started. Whether it’s football two-a-days, soccer practices on a sweltering turf field, or cross country training in the late summer sun, the threat of heat exhaustion and heat stroke is prevalent across all sports.

It’s an important time for athletes and parents to be aware of the signs of heat illnesses, especially given that children and adolescents are more susceptible to heat stroke than adults. Younger athletes produce more heat during activity, sweat less, and adjust less rapidly to changes in environmental heat.

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Determined to get back in the game

04 22 2014 Kyle Arieta ISeventeen-year-old Kyle Arieta lives for football, but as his mother is quick to note, football doesn’t define him. Instead, she points to a quiet determination that he’s learned from his years on the playing field. It’s an attitude of pushing through and moving beyond that’s served him well in the game, and which drove him to get back on his feet after the brain tumor.

When the southeastern Massachusetts native went to bed one night last May, he’d been having headaches off and on for a while. They weren’t all that bad, more like a mild cold that wouldn’t go away.

That next morning, though, it was clear that the headaches had been a sign of something more. Kyle awoke in head-splitting pain—and nearly blind.

By the end of the day, he was at Boston Children’s Hospital, where neurosurgeons performed emergency surgery to remove a tumor growing in his pituitary gland—a pea-sized part of the brain that acts like a control room for the body’s hormones.

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