According to the NY Daily News, recently deceased former pro wrestler Joanie Laurer – better known as WWE’s Chyna – will have her brain donated for scientific research. Laurer was found dead in her home by her manager, Anthony Anzaldo, on April 20th.
Anzaldo revealed that Laurer had been contacted to join a concussion lawsuit against WWE by other former professional wrestlers. While they didn’t join the suit, they were were interesting in pursuing scientific exploration of the effects a career in wrestling and a history of domestic violence had on the brain.
“My hope is that we can do it. I’m in the process of getting the permission to speak on behalf of family to tell the coroner it’s okay to release it.”
We’re not interested in the lawsuit at all,” Anzaldo said. “We’re just looking for (the researchers) to give us everything they can get.”
Anzaldo says the research will include Dr. Bennet Omalu, the pathologist who discovered CTE – Central traumatic encephalopathy. Omalu and his efforts to rbing CTE awareness to the NFL were the subject of the Will Smith film Concussion.
Recently, pro wrestlers Mick Foley, Kevin Nash, and Jeff Hardy confirmed they will be donating their brains for study. John Cena has also stated that if it will help further concussion research, he would be interested in donating his brain as well. Former WWE wrestler Chris Benoit is one of the most famous instances of an athlete suffering from CTE.
Amongst an ever-growing list of male athletes, US soccer star Brandi Chastain has also pledged her brain to science. If donated, Laurer would join Chastain in the efforts to increase awareness and study of the differing effects of concussions in men and women.
Anzaldo hopes to capture the results of testing for The Reconstruction of Chyna, the documentary they had been filming before her death.