Four athletes
The four athletes donating their brains to advance research are: (L to R) Fran Rider, Cassie Campbell-Pascal (top), Kerrin Lee-Gartner and Jen Kish. (Photos: Courtesy Fran Rider,, Courtesy Kerrin Lee-Gartner, Kevin Light)

Three Olympians and a pioneer in women's hockey are donating their brains to the Canadian Concussion Centre (CCC) to advance research on the effects of concussion in women.

Theys are the first known female Canadian athletes to publicly pledge their brain to a Canadian research centre.

The women, all highly decorated athletes in their respective sports, are:

  • Cassie Campbell-Pascall: Two-time Olympic gold medallist, Order of Canada, Order of Hockey in Canada recipient and Queens Diamond Jubilee recipient
  • Jen Kish: 2016 Olympic bronze medallist, 2015 Pan Am Games gold medallist, and 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens silver medallist as captain of the Canadian women's rugby sevens team
  • Kerrin Lee-Gartner: Olympic gold medallist and three-time Olympic team member in alpine skiing
  • Fran Rider: Competitive athlete and life-long advocate for the advancement of Female Hockey in the world, leading the drive for Olympic participation

"The Canadian Concussion Centre is honoured to receive the commitment of brain donations from these legendary Canadian athletes and I applaud them for their decision," says. Dr. Charles Tator, director of the CCC.

"Research is showing that concussions affect women differently than they do men, and our ability to analyse the changes that can occur in women's brains as a result of concussions will help us better understand and treat these injuries."

This weekend, the CCC hosts its 6th Annual Concussion Symposium. A public forum on May 11, and presentations and discussions by leading concussion researchers on May 12 will highlight the consequences of concussions to the families involved.

The forum, which is free and open to the public, will feature remarks by the family of Rowan Stringer and the father of former NHLer Paul Montador, both young athletes who lost their lives to the complications of concussions.

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