PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A health screening program for former NFL players is helping save lives, and at Super Bowl 50, KOIN 6 News was the only station in the country given the opportunity to capture it.
While the Broncos and Panthers battled the butterflies ahead of the biggest game of their lives, Stan Brock endured 3 hours of medical tests.
“I have constant ringing in my ear, I hear it ringing now and so I lose a lot of high pitch,” Brock told his doctor. “They’re both terrible, but the right is better.”
To his surprise, Brock was told he had an 80% hearing loss.
Thankfully, the results improved as he continued the medical tests.
“His heart is perfect,” a doctor said.
The Player Care Foundation holds at least 10 health screenings across the country every year. They’re facilitated by a partnership between the NFL, the players and alumni associations and Tulane University.
“They’re doing a full, basically full body-type physical, mostly cardiovascular issues designed for all the ex-players, so we took advantage of it,” Brock’s former Saints teammate Hoby Brenner said. “It’s a good deal.”
Dana Lihan with PCF says a lot of good has come from the program.
“We’ve diagnosed guys with prostate cancer, we’ve found cardiovascular issues that have led to immediate, sometimes straight to the emergency room,” Lihan said.
Dean Kleinschmidt, Brock’s former trainer, is part of the foundation.
“This is basically what amounts to a $10,000 screening that the NFL is providing for free,” he said. “And here’s the criteria: You had to have worn an NFL jersey for at least one day… It does my heart good to be able to do things like that, it’s very fulfilling.”
In the 7 years since its inception, PCF has screened more than 3,600 former NFL players. The results are tracked over time to help players currently in the league.
“The reality is, when you’re off the team, you don’t have trainers, you don’t have nutritionists, you don’t have physical therapists, it’s all on your own,” Brock’s former teammate Jim Kovach said. “So part of it is to promote us doing that on our own… you sit down with someone and they tell you how you’re doing. And that’s important.”