American Ray Ciancaglini, 68, suffers from Parkinson’s disease and created the “Second Impact” foundation to prevent more fighters from suffering brain damage. He reacts to recent boxing deaths: “An athlete who suffers a blow to the skull needs to recover. The brain swells up.”
By Camilo Pinheiro Machado and Guilherme Roseguini – Romulus, United States
Late last month, two boxer deaths shook the sporting world. Russian Maxim Dadashev passed away after 11 rounds in a fight in the United States, and in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Hugo Alfredo Santillan fainted after a fight and, in hospital, never woke up.
Do fighters know the limits of the body?
Tragic stories that don’t surprise former American boxer Ray Ciancaglini.The 68-year-old, who today has difficulty walking and shakes both hands to speak slowly, suffered from head blows early in his career and decided to help future boxers not to follow suit. As an athlete, Ray began to lose his memory and realized that he suffered from problems caused by the repeated impacts of boxing. The man who lives with his wife today in a house in the small town of Romulus, upstate New York, suffers from chronic traumatic encephalopathy and still shows the reflexes of punches carried on for years.
– What was your question again? Ray confused in the middle of an answer to our report.
Ray Ciancaglini advocates for the protection of boxers so that more tragedies do not recur – Photo: Camilo PInheiro Machado
After hanging up his gloves, Ray did not end his fight. He launched a book and created a foundation of the same name, Second Impact, to show society the risks of head trauma.
– An athlete when suffering a skull strike needs to recover. Because if you suffer another in the same place, brain damage can become permanent.In some cases the brain swells up. And the fighter dies, ”Ray said.
Ray Ciancaglini has become a militant reference for greater prevention of brain damage from boxers – Photo: Camilo Pinheiro Machado
In the book that tells his life, the former fighter says that he suffered from a constant headache when he was active, but when he consulted other boxers, he heard that this was part of the routine and if he couldn’t stand it, he would not be prepared to play boxing. .
For today Ray defends the opposite in his lectures, book and conversations. According to Ciancaglini, it is okay to give up a workout, a fight or even sports if signs of pain indicate this path. He believes it is possible to be a fighter and have a normal life after a career. Just preserve yourself.
“I don’t want anyone to go through this misery I’m facing.” Because that is a dearth. My dream is to see no one else suffering from second impact syndrome. Because you can prevent it. And the key to this is education.
Ray Ciancaglini shows in his house paintings with his own image in remembrance of the times of fighter – Photo: Camilo Pinheiro Machado
The second impact cited by Ray is the punch that comes after a concussion or blow with some brain damage. Once the strikes are followed and the fighter does not interrupt combat or training, the second damaging impact may occur.
Late last month, Brazilian physician Renato Angianhh presented a study at a conference in Indianapolis, United States, about risks of head impact, and explains the “second impact syndrome”.
– Imagine that an individual with 10 seconds of fight suffers a first knockdown, which is not a defensive knockout, and is able to follow. He’s already fighting all the rest of the fight with a chance of suffering second impact syndrome, ”said the doctor.
Ray Ciancaglini sometimes forgets what he is talking about and tries to resume thinking – Photo: Camilo Pinheiro Machado
Dr. Angianhh gives reason to Ray Ciancaglini’s advice when the former boxer warns of caution in training and fights. There are already 30 deaths in professional boxing in the last 25 years in the world, and a number still in study of former fighters with serious sequelae after retirement. The earlier you prevent yourself, the better.
– Most of them arrive (at the doctor with problems) at a very early age, 45, 50, 55, and brought in by family members who noticed that they were intelligent people with controlled lives, and have problems or attitudes. behavioral or cognitive, memory. And that has happened to very strong mania fighting sports – said doctor Renato Angianhh.