Click here for Press Release : January 10, 2018
After The Impact Fund (ATIF) has created a private, confidential and password protected family forum for women only. As family members and caregivers, we wanted to create a safe environment where families can start healing together. This platform is inclusive of education, information, resources, benefits, latest news, research and support.
“Our goal was to create a place for mothers, wives and daughters, to not only find the resources and benefits they were entitled to in one place, but to have a safe and private forum to share their experiences and concerns,” says ATIF Executive Director, Shannon Jordan. “Our family members are often silent sufferers and we wanted to provide not only resources and support for their loved one, but for them personally. We are so appreciative of the research being done regarding CTE, but where we come in is in assisting our communities while they are living to provide help and hope.
Widow Sylvia Mackey, known in the NFL community for creating the John Mackey 88 Plan, which provides financial assistance to former players suffering from Dementia, Parkinsons, Alzheimers or ALS, is thrilled with the forum. “What a wonderful and much needed website for all NFL families!!! I receive so many questions about the ‘88 Plan’ myself, and with everybody's need being different, it is impossible for me to answer all. Finally, after years of scrambling for information and not knowing where to turn for help, now I can refer people to ATIF for the right, updated answers and support.”
Representing the military families, Jill Walsh says, “One of the best things about the Forum is that the military and athletic communities can share and learn from each other, as ATIF has identified more similarities than differences between us.”
"After the Impact Fund's Family Forum is a Godsend. Family members of retired players and military vets finally have a safe place to seek resources and support, without fear of judgement. To date, there is no other place where family members seeking help for their loved one can find all of the different services and up to date information available to them in one, easy to navigate, location. In addition, the Forum provides its members with an opportunity to seek, as well as provide, experiences and support with peers that are experiencing the same challenges at home. As the daughter of a deceased NFLplayer, who suffered with CTE for the greater part of my life, I wish we had had access to something like the Family Forum, where we could have located needed treatment resources and shared experiences with other families. It would have meant the world to us to have been able to access a list of benefits and services available to us, instead of forging a path of our own through trial and error. Most of all, through being able to communicate and share with other families in a private forum, we would have had the great gift of knowing that we were NOT ALONE!" - Samantha Pyle Buono
NFL wife and ATIF Advisory Council Member, Liz Nicholson-Sullivan, says, “ATIF has worked hard to build this comprehensive forum, specifically for us, the families. Every time a new person signs on and looks around, they find some benefit or resource they didn’t know existed. ATIF clearly put serious time and effort into this and we are so thankful for it.”
Filmmaker and daughter, Rebecca Carpenter, whose four-star film, “Requiem For A Running Back” highlights the difficulties that families face when dealing with CTE, says “loving somebody who has a degenerative brain disease can be devastating without a support system. I have found solace, leadership and guidance through my confidential ATIF family.”
"The Family Impact Forum provides great info! I'm thankful we have a resource like ATIF, and women who have first hand experience to help us when we need support and guidance. As the wife and full time caregiver of a former player diagnosed with ALS almost 16 years ago, I hope to be able to offer support where I can. It's imperative the spouses know they aren't alone." - Chie Smith
"As the widow of a retired NFL player I’m excited to be participating in The Family Impact Forum. My husband was Terry Owens. He played for the San Diego Chargers from 1966-1975. Terry passed away in October of 2012 and it was confirmed that my Terry did indeed have CTE. During my husbands illness very little was known about CTE. I had no one to turn to for medical advice and how to handle his behavior. It was hard and I made a lot of mistakes. I had to learn the hard way; to navigate the unknown. That’s why I’m so excited for ATIF and the Family Impact Forum. I hope to be able to share some of my mistakes and successes with others who are dealing with a loved one suspected to have CTE. My desire is to share with those who have questions about the disease and particularly the primary caregivers. Since Terrys death, I have worked closely with those entrusted to run the Family Forum. I trust them explicitly and am grateful they are allowing me to be an advocate for the program." - Alison Owens
"The Family Impact Forum is a lifeline for many of us. It's one stop, providing necessary information regarding benefits, the concussion lawsuit and self-help. It would have benefited me during my darkest days while caring for my husband who passed away from dementia. The forum allows me to connect with others who understand what it is like to live in a world where we have no control. " - Janet McCoy