Ray’s mission is to tell his story of the mistakes he made not properly addressing a concussion and the lifelong consequences he suffered as a result. Rays goal is to raise awareness, offer support, and encourage young people to be honest with care givers instead of playing through a head injury. Ray hopes, through his talks, that student athletes will understand the importance of addressing a concussion correctly and promptly. He encourages student athletes to be honest with symptoms and advocates following school or sport program protocols and doctor’s orders to ensure a safe return to play.
Ray Ciancaglini, Former Middleweight Boxer Concussion Awareness Advocate
Many athletes do not understand or take seriously the possible repercussions of hiding or playing through a concussion. They sometimes feel that they are invincible or that they are tough enough to gut it out. I was once one of those athletes. For many years, I have been battling Dementia Pugilistica and Parkinson's Syndrome. These progressive disorders are the direct result of my not addressing concussions properly as a young boxer. The consequences of my actions have so deeply affected my life.
I endorse playing all sports but strongly stress the importance of being honest about symptoms and addressing a concussion properly. I have been a concussion awareness and management advocate for many years and was instrumental in getting passed into NYS Legislation the current Concussion Management Awareness Act. I also founded the Second Impact website www.TheSecondImpact.com which is dedicated to concussion awareness. My speaking engagements, that include my real life story (featured nationally by ABC News), have successfully resonated with thousands of student athletes at High Schools, Colleges and sports organizations such as The NY Collegiate Baseball League and The NFL Player Development Camps. My appearances are free of charge, last approximately 30 minutes, and I am not selling or endorsing any products. References can be obtained from the many schools that I have spoken at such as Syracuse University, St. Bonaventure University, Mansfield University, University of New England, SUNY Brockport, SUNY Cortland, Ithaca College, Canisius College, Aquinas Institute of Rochester, East High (Rochester), North Rockland High School and others listed on The Second Impact website.
My awards and honors have included The Rochester Boxing Hall of Fame, Geneva Sports Hall of Fame, Golden Glove Heart Award, Jerry Flynn Courage Award, Rochester Hickok Hero Award, The NYS Executive Chamber Award, The Brain Injury Association of NYS Public Policy Award, GHS Positive Impact Award and The Camp Good Days Courage Award and the Geneva Rotary Paul Harris Award. My contributions were instrumental in getting passed into federal law the 1996 Professional Boxing Safety Act. My story was awarded The New York Associated Press Top Sports Story of 2011 and also awarded The New York Publishers Association Top Sports Story of 2011. I have been endorsed by the New York State Athletic Trainers’ Association (NYSATA). I have been participating with retired NFL players in ongoing Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) studies at the Boston University School of Medicine where upon my death my brain will be donated for CTE research. I have dedicated my life to public awareness about concussions and am trying to reach as many young athletes as I can to give them the tools to make healthy decisions and I look forward to getting the opportunity to speak with your student athletes, parents, coaches, school officials, and/or local community.
To schedule a free speaking engagement or if I can be of any assistance, as a supplement to your school’s concussion management program, please contact me any time at (315) 719-1031 (Cellphone) or email me at SecondImpactMail@yahoo.com.