Sea ViewsFrom President and COO, Adam Goldstein

Sea Views Blog with Adam Goldstein

The Goal May Not Have Been Reached, but the Fight Carries On

I have not previously written about one topic that is of prime importance to my family.  My 16-year-old son, David, has dedicated himself to fighting for improved education, prevention, testing and treatment related to concussions.  He has experienced several concussions from soccer that have demonstrated to our family how significant these brain injuries are and how little people know about avoiding them and/or getting help once they have occurred.  Thanks to David and his Countywide Concussion Care effort, for the first time, football and soccer players in all of the public high schools in Miami-Dade County will receive baseline testing for concussions before next fall’s games. 

Along the way, David has become a voice for an effort to achieve legislation in Florida to address basic issues of concussion education, removal from play and return to play.  About 15 states have now passed such legislation with active support from the NFL.  Florida had a great chance to be the first state in the Southeast U.S. to pass such legislation.  Although we were warned that it was not easy to get legislation through the Legislature in Tallahassee on the first try, things were looking up after the legislation unanimously passed the House. 

When the action moved to the Senate, the process was derailed at the last moment in a way that turned even my cynical political stomach.  One powerful Senator who is himself a chiropractor decided – in my opinion without any basis in fact – that this legislation was a threat to the chiropractic profession. Displaying zero concern for Florida’s youth athletes, he engineered the legislation’s defeat on a voice vote that the President of the Senate was unable to manage effectively in the tumultuous last hours of the session. Maybe most remarkable is that the two Senators I understand (through my Our Kids service) to have specific child welfare responsibility both opposed Florida’s interest to protect its youth in favor of the chiropractic lobby.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a loyal long-term patient of a wonderful chiropractor, but no one, who has anything to do with concussions in a serious way, believes chiropractors had justification to kill this bill.  But they did, and now my son and the rest of us need to forge on to achieve the right result as soon as possible.

10 responses to:
“The Goal May Not Have Been Reached, but the Fight Carries On”

  1. Diane Mason

    You should be SO proud of your son! What drive for a 16 year old to have to take the ball and run with this to help protect kids playing sports. Their lives are way too important to be put on the line for something as simple as playing ball. Keep up the great job David and be proud that you have a family that supports your efforts.

    • Adam

      Thank you for such wonderful message, Diane. We certainly could not be more proud of David and we will be sure to pass this message along to him.

  2. Laurie

    It’s nice to see your son’s efforts in concussion education and detection. My husband suffered a level 3 concussion after getting thrown from a horse over 4 years ago. Although he’s basically recovered he does still suffer some side effects from the brain injury. The first few months after his injury were a tough time for our family. Thankfully he’s doing well now and outside of headache issues he’s pretty much fully recoverd. We have always loved Royal Carribean and actually have never cruised on another cruiseline and don’t intend to.

    I applaud your son’s efforts and it would be nice to see such testing countrywide.

    • Adam

      We are sorry to hear about your husband’s trauma, that certainly can be a tough issue to deal with as a family, but we are happy to hear that he is doing so well in his recovery. Thank you for your kind message, we certainly are honored to have such a wonderful family committed to our cruise line.

  3. bob

    Dear Adam,
    Is passing another law always the solution to every problem? Is there anything to prevent youth soccer and football leagues from voluntarily adopting the appropriate standards for concussion education and removal and return to play? Maybe you’ll discover that most folks want to do right by young athletes, chiropractors or no chiropractors. Good luck to your son in his worthy cause.
    Bob

    • Adam

      You make an excellent point, Bob. It would be great if high school athletic associations and youth sports associations would voluntarily adopt strict education, prevention and treatment standards. In fact, the Florida High School Athletic Association is doing exactly that. But the variability of behaviors across innumerable associations is such that without the legislation many youth athletes will remain vulnerable. So my family, the Brain Injury Association of Florida, the NFL and other concerned citizens will press on with the legislative effort. Thank you for your warm wishes, I will certainly pass them on.

  4. jackie

    Adam, It sounds as though you have a very conscientious son and is willing to put his time and talents into such an important program. You should be very proud of his achievments. He’s following in your footsteps.

    • Adam

      You’re absolutely correct, Jackie. Thank you for your wonderful words.

  5. gillian Hotz, PhD

    I am the Director of the Concussion Program at the University of Miami School of Medicine and fortunate enough to be working with David and his family. David has done a remarkable job on increasing awareness, educating and advocating in the county and the state about concussion management. By developing and implementing the Countywide Concussion Care program for Miami Dade County, David and his school have made it possible for all High School Football players and now other athletes that play contact sports to be baseline tested with ImPACT, a neurocognitive computerized assessment that can be used to compare scores if they sustain a concussion during the season. I know with David’s continued effort and support from his family, friends and the professional community we will have the legislation passed this year and join the other 21 States that have passed concussion legislation.

    • Adam

      It’s great to hear such confidence from such a well respected member of the field, Gillian. Thank you so much for your encouragement, although it’s a long road, we’re confident that we will reach our goal.

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