What is CTE Hope

Square Logo.jpeg

CTE Hope was created in honor of Zac Easter, a young man who took his life at the age of 24, after living with and suffering from Chronic Traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) for six years. Zac loved football and asked his family ad friends to make football a safer sport. CTE Hope is focused on developing a better return-to-play protocol for athletes, increasing awareness about the dangers of concussions, developing a point-of-care device that can be used at athletic events, emergency rooms, and medical clincis that measures inflaammatory biomarkers ensuring an athelttes is not reutrned to play too soon, developing a certficiation program to ensure that caregivers have the right information to treat and care for injured athletes, support research that identifies why some atheltes are more susceptible to consussion than others, and connecting those suffering with symptoms of CTE with resources, support and hope. 


Goals of CTE Hope 

CTE Hope's goals fall under three pillars: education, prevention, and support. We aim to educate people on CTE and the dangers of concussions, prevent athletes from suffering multiple concussions and the long-term effects that follow, and support those already suffering from early CTE symptoms. The following are some of our 2-3 year goals:


  • Provide numerous public forums throughout Iowa in which we dispense the most recent research and information regarding CTE and brain health.
  • Host a CTE summit, in which leading CTE experts will hold panels and talks regarding the newest advances in CTE research.
  • Provide consistent and updated information and news nationally through our website and social media outlets.


  • Develop a point-of-care test which would allow a safer return-to-play protocol for athletic programs.

    • Currently, CTE Hope is sponsoring a saliva testing study, which is attempting to measure inflammatory markers and proteins associated with head trauma using new technology developed by the Walt laboratory at Tufts. The data will be collected from football and women soccer players at Simpson College who suffer head trauma during their seasons at marked intervals and will be matched with a variety of cognitive and balance testing. The athletes's symptoms will also be assessed. If successful, we hope to expand the study into a clinical trial at a D1 program.

  • Develop an athletic trainer certification program, in order to ensure the presence of a licensed athletic trainer at every contact sporting event at every level.

  • Support 2017 legislative efforts to improve the quality of care for young athletes in the state of Iowa. Legislation proposed will align with appropriate return-to-play protocol and increase the amount of athletic trainer support throughout Iowa schools.

    • Once successful, CTE Hope will go on to support federal legislation as well.


  • Create a 24-hour CTE Hope hotline that will provide support for individuals (or their loved ones) suffering from early CTE symptoms. 

  • Implement/fund CTE and head trauma support groups in cities throughout Iowa.

  • Create partnerships with the medical community in hopes of facilitating more support resources for those who suffer from concussions and early CTE symptoms.