An Evening with Bennet Omalu
February 25, 2016 · 7:00 PM · Beth El Synagogue · 5225 Barry Street West · Saint Louis Park, MN
(Press Release) As Minnesota doctors call for the removal of football from public schools, Dr. Bennet Omalu will serve as our next Inspiring Minds Speaker. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity as Dr. Omalu brings to the stage a rare combination of humility and fervor, as he shares his story of becoming one of the biggest disrupters in the history of sports and medicine.
As chronicled in the film Concussion (starring Will Smith), Dr. Bennet Omalu’s story is one of great triumph in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Born in 1968 in Eastern Nigeria during the civil war, his family lived as refugees, his town under constant fire by the Nigerian Air Force. Despite suffering war-related under-nutrition in the first two years of his life, Omalu would go on to attend medical school at age 15 and become a physician by age 21. In 2002, Dr. Omalu made a career breakthrough when he became the first doctor to discover and identify chronic brain damage as a major factor in the deaths of some professional athletes. He called the disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), which he first discovered as the result of an autopsy he performed on Mike Webster—one of the best Centers in NFL history. “Iron Mike,” the legendary Pittsburgh Steeler and Hall of Famer, died at age 50, his brain revealing something doctors had never seen before. Within five years of reporting on Webster’s case, Dr. Omalu went on to identify CTE in eight more deceased NFL players. He was also the first to discover CTE in military veterans diagnosed with PTSD, as well as professional wrestlers. But his findings were summarily dismissed—and even ridiculed—by his professional peers, the NFL, and the sports industry. The NFL even made a concerted effort to retract Dr. Omalu’s published papers. But he stood his ground in search of the truth. Today, CTE has become generally accepted and Dr. Omalu’s findings have revolutionized neuroscience, sports medicine and safety, the study of all types of brain trauma, and the entire sports industry.
We are pleased to work in collaboration with the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance on this important evening, embracing their mission to work towards a world where all avoidable brain injuries are prevented, all non-preventable brain injuries are minimized, and all individuals who have experienced brain injury can maximize their quality of life.
Please note: through our partnership with Barnes and Noble Booksellers in Calhoun Village, we will have books for sale the evening of the event. For additional inquiries about the event, please call 952-873-7300.