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‘Hemiplegic migraines’ led ND’s Danny Spond to retire

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In a statement released through Notre Dame Tuesday evening, Danny Spond and the university’s team physician explained the specific nature of the medical issue that forced the now-former linebacker to give up the sport.

In the statement, Spond confirmed that he has suffered from hemiplegic migraines over the past year.  Dr. Jennifer Malcolm explained that the type of migraine Spond suffers from “present[s] with temporary stroke-like symptoms, such as weakness and slurred speech.”

Spond said he suffered “another paralyzing migraine early in fall camp,” which “forced [me] to walk away from the game with an extremely heavy heart.”  Despite what Spond described as “the best medical treatment and guidance possible. … an exact cause of these migraines remains undetermined.”

In 2012, Spond missed the first two games of the season due to the migraines.  He came back to start the final 11 games of the year.

Spond is on track to graduate next spring with a degree in political science.

Below is the complete statement from Spond:

“My football playing career is over after suffering another paralyzing migraine early in fall camp. I’ve received the best medical treatment and guidance possible. Unfortunately, an exact cause of these migraines remains undetermined, and in order to assure my overall well-being, I’m forced to walk away from the game with an extremely heavy heart.

“This has been an incredibly difficult time for me and my family, but by the Grace of God, we can find comfort in His greater plan. Being a man of God and an ambassador for his word, I have come to realize that in times of questioning His plan you have to let go and let God take over, and that is what I am doing. I’ve played this game my entire life, and losing it makes me feel as if I have lost something inside. But I find comfort in knowing my Lord will open the next chapter in my life and fill what’s been taken.

“I want to sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, thank each and every person who has supported me and my career at Notre Dame for their thoughts and prayers. You are the greatest people and fans in this world and make Notre Dame the most righteous University that I could ever represent; I love each and every one of you so very much. I promise to continue to give all I can to this University this year by coaching my position and providing senior leadership in all ways. You may no longer hear my name on the field, but I promise you, this is not the last you will hear of Danny Spond. With God, my family, and Notre Dame, I will persevere to do great things.”

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9 Responses to “‘Hemiplegic migraines’ led ND’s Danny Spond to retire”
  1. fnc111 says: Aug 20, 2013 8:43 PM

    DS already has a better head on his shoulders than CBK. First class kid.
    Spond represents what it’s all about. It’s a shame Kelly is only focused on the NFL. Maybe now Kelly can see the light and see what these student-athletes are doing for the university. Stop being a greedy little man Brian.

  2. wnynd says: Aug 20, 2013 8:57 PM

    Spond is doing the right thing. ND has a lot to offer student athletes and DS shows that likewise the student athletes have a lot to offer ND. I am so proud of the way our players represent the university and themselves with class.

  3. funktron2x says: Aug 21, 2013 1:56 AM

    WHAT POSITION DOES HE PLAY? why is this such a common occurrence on this site?

  4. stoicpaisano says: Aug 21, 2013 4:40 AM

    Linebacker, says right at the end of the first paragraph.

    Spond comes from a well-to-do Colorado family (Columbine, yes that one) which should lead him to success when paired with a Notre Dame degree.

  5. thegamecocker says: Aug 21, 2013 7:44 AM

    I wish this young man the best of luck. It’s unfortunate but he has made the correct choice. His degree from ND will serve him well in the future. Migrane Headaches are nothing too fool around with and they are debilitating when they occur.

  6. mediocrebob says: Aug 21, 2013 8:03 AM


    Once again, this has nothing to do with BK. It’s about DS losing the ability to play the game he loves. You’re also what people would consider a little obsessed with CBK.

    Did he not autograph something for you? Get over it. Notre Dame may have made some mistakes in the past as far as head football coaches ability to build a program, but they don’t make many bad judgements on the character of those coaches.

    Too bad for Spond. Irish will miss him on the field this fall. He did a little of everything and every great team needs someone like him.

  7. baldyscotsman says: Aug 21, 2013 8:16 AM

    Very sad for Danny, but like he said, we will hear of him again. and his impact will be much greater than a football game.

  8. lovetheirish says: Aug 21, 2013 10:38 AM

    Danny Spond is exactly the kind of young man who makes me proud to be a Notre Dame fan. I’m very sad to see he will not be playing for the Irish any longer but I know he will succeed at whatever God leads him to do with his life.

  9. fnc111 says: Aug 21, 2013 5:25 PM

    Brian Kelly is a fraud.

    He embarrasses the university in the national title game then has the nerve to try and bolt to the Eagles just a day later. No class.

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