Bringing concussion awareness to youth sports

Local advocate hopes to win national award

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CUMMING, Ga. — Jim Ellis is passionate about preventing concussions.

In August, Ellis’ grandson, Parker Disraeli, suffered a concussion while playing football. It was thanks to Ellis’ research merely months before Parker's injury that Disraeli got the help he needed.

Ellis and local football coaches used materials from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and the CDC to increase awareness of concussion symptoms among about 800 coaches, parents and players.

“One of the reasons we were so successful was because we had a concussion program,” Ellis said. “So we knew where to go for the treatment.”

In January, Ellis founded Mothers 4 Concussion Awareness.

Now Ellis is seeking a $5,000 national Sports Teach Respect Initiative Values and Excellence (STRIVE) award. If he wins, he says he will reinvest that money into Forsyth County and North Fulton in the form of educating local private teams on how to spot, prevent and treat a concussion.

“We were selected as one of five finalists from hundreds of submissions,” Ellis said. “The award is given to the organization that gets the most votes online.”

Ellis is on a mission to drum up as many votes as he can before the Aug. 1 contest deadline. Votes can be cast once per day for the organization.

“If we were fortunate enough to win, Forsyth County could serve as a model for other areas,” Ellis said.

Currently, parks and recreation teams and church basketball leagues can use Ellis’ website as a resource for education and a place to get information.

To vote for Ellis visit the National Council of Youth Sports website, www.ncys.org/strive. For more information on Ellis’ cause, visit www.mothers4concussionawareness.org.