When Ray Ciancaglini was sixteen, he took a hard blow to the head in a boxing match. With the misconception that you had to be knocked out to sustain a concussion, he stepped into the ring again the following week and suffered a second concussion while still in the recovery phase of the initial one. The injurious effects to Ray’s brain from this “second impact” altered the course of his existence forever.
Ray’s mission is to tell his story of the mistakes he made not properly addressing concussions and the lifelong consequences he suffered as a result. Rays goal is to raise awareness, offer support, and encourage being honest about concussion symptoms instead hiding or playing through a possible concussion. Ray hopes, through his talks, that student athletes will understand the importance of addressing a concussion promptly and properly. He encourages student athletes to follow their 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 have resonated with thousands of students and medical professionals at conferences and learning institutions from Portland, Maine to Seattle, Washington. I was instrumental in getting passed into NYS Legislation the current Concussion Management Awareness Act and founded the Second Impact non-profit 501C3 organization and website www.TheSecondImpact.com which is dedicated to concussion awareness. My speaking engagements are FREE of charge and last for approximately 30 minutes. My life story has been featured nationally by ABC news and my book, Second Impact, The Ray Ciancaglini Story by Andy Siegel has garnered a 5 star rating by Amazon and was ranked the number 1 new release, for 4 weeks. References can be obtained from any of the many schools and organizations listed below or on the "speaking engagement" page such as The Dr. Robert Cantu Concussion Center, The Cleveland Clinic, Maryland Association of Osteopathic Physicians, 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, Williamsville (Buffalo) North, South and East High Schools.
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, Camp Good Days Courage Award and Geneva Rotary Paul Harris Award. My contributions were instrumental in getting passed into federal law, the 1996 Professional Boxing Safety Act. My story garnered honors by The New York Associated Press and The New York Publishers Association Top Stories 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. My life is dedicated to reaching as many young athletes as I can to give them the tools to make healthy decisions which will enable them to reach their full potential.
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 or email me at SecondImpactMail@yahoo.com.