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Soccer Star Brandi Chastain Pledges to Donate Brain to CTE Research

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Brandi Chastain will donate her brain to research on chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the retired soccer star said Thursday.

Chastain, known for scoring the winning goal in the 1999 World Cup final, described the choice as an opportunity to aid research into a degenerative disease that affects athletes in a number of contact sports.

“Hopefully, what can be learned is, can doctors and scientists and neuroscientists look at the brain of someone like me, who has been playing soccer a majority of my life, and really dissect the brain and say, ‘Here’s where we see it beginning?'” Chastain said in an interview with USA Today.

Chastain joins a small group of women who have donated their brains to Boston University for CTE research. Boston University, which will receive Chastain’s brain following her death, has dissected more than 300 brains to study the disease, but only seven have been women. The disease can only be uncovered once a brain has been opened up after death.

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Write to Justin Worland at justin.worland@time.com