The family of former running back Gale Sayers discussed the Hall of Famer's dementia with the Kansas City Star, saying they want to help other families who are going through similar circumstances.
When Sayers sued the NFL over concussions in January 2014, it was stated in the lawsuit that he suffered from "loss of memory, dementia, Alzheimer's, neurological disorder, depression, sleep problems and irritability," but his family hadn't publicly discussed his battle.
Sayer's wife, Ardie, says that the 73-year-old is still physically strong, but she added that the "brain controls everything, doesn't it?"
The newspaper noted that Sayers barely spoke during a seven-hour visit, but his family says that other times he can carry on "halting" conversations.
His family must be vigilant about Sayer's safety these days. Ardie Sayers said that her husband tried to wash his hands with carpet cleaner a few days earlier.
"It keeps you on your toes," she told the newspaper.
She said that another wife of a former player told her: "Don't let him out of your sight."
The family said that people they trusted took advantage of Sayers' situation.
"You have people who have a little less moral stature than you would like to see in society," Sayers' brother Roger told the newspaper in a phone interview.
Sayers was born in Wichita, Kansas, and was an All-American at Kansas. He was a first-round pick of the Chicago Bears in 1965 and was a four-time Pro Bowler. He once scored six touchdowns in a single game.
Yet he's losing touch with all those great achievements.
"You build memories all your life, and the next thing you know you don't remember anything," Roger Sayers said to the newspaper. "It's just tough."
Family of Hall of Famer Gale Sayers discusses his dementia