Strzelczyk was an offensive lineman with the Steelers for eight seasons. In 2004, he died in a car crash after taking police on a high-speed chase, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. Toxicology reports showed no evidence of drugs or alcohol in the 36-year-old's body. So what caused his erratic behavior?
Strzelczyk's family donated his brain to the Brain Injury Research Institute. Dr. Ronald Hamilton of the University of Pittsburgh told the New York Times, "If I didn't know anything about this case and I looked at the slides, I would have asked, 'Was this patient a boxer?'"
In the years since his death, Michael’s family has tried to cope with the loss by reminding themselves that their father had a degenerative disease; had he lived, he would only have suffered more. Driven by Michael’s passion for sports medicine, the family started the Dr. Michael E. King Memorial Scholarship for student athletes. All four siblings are involved in CTE awareness or policy advocacy efforts. Marylynn is a physical therapist in Seattle, where she cares for patients who are recovering from traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries, amputations and other severe injuries.
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