Cowboys’ Travis Frederick Sees Hope, Progress After ‘Scary’ Guillain-Barre Syndrome Diagnosis

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Dallas Cowboys offensive tackler Travis Frederick is finally seeing some light at the end of a very dark tunnel. In 2017, his career was derailed by a diagnosis of Guillane-Barre Syndrome. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), about one in 100,000 people are stricken with the disease.

Guillan-Barre syndrome is an autoimmune disorder that starts with tingling and weakness in your lower extremities. It soon moves upward and can eventually paralyze the entire body. It can be brought on by the use of vaccinations. There are many otherwise healthy individuals who have been harmed unexpectedly by vaccinations.

Frederick has suffered greatly. Not only lost feeling in his hands and feet, he lost 18 pounds. Frederick was drafted by the Cowboys in 2013 and is a three-time Pro Bowler. He says the notion of losing his football career and his health was pretty daunting. “I was in a pretty dark place for a while.”

Unfortunately, Guillan-Barre is just one of the many conditions one can develop from receiving vaccinations. While it is unknown how Frederick contracted the syndrome, the use of vaccines cannot be ruled out. Frederick’s biggest problem was the feeling that he let down his teammates. “One minute you’re on the field producing, and the next minute, it seems like everything has been snatched away,” according to Frederick. After being released from the hospital, he was not even strong enough to pick up his children. He says that also put things in perspective for him.

Frederick was placed on injured reserve Oct. 6. By the time the Cowboy’s bye week rolled around on Oct. 29, he had reached a turning point. Frederick was working out with weights to stay strong and stave off muscle atrophy. The dismissal of Cowboys offensive line coach Paul Alexander allowed Frederick to assume a role on the sidelines. He and teammate Zack Martin would often throw passes to one another. Frederick says over the next couple of weeks, he felt more vigor and more zip with each pass. The numbness he felt throughout his body is now confined only to his fingers and toes.

Frederick understands that only 1 in 100,000 people develop Guillain-Barre Syndrome. There are many unknowns about his condition. There is no data on NFL players who have come back from this disease. He says the only thing he can do is concentrate on the things he can control. His goal is to make it back to the NFL someday. He does have time on his side, because he’s only 27 years old.

Frederick says he is going to take it one day at a time. He doesn’t want or need to rush himself out of fear of injury. However, he is still confident that he can do it. A pair of headsets on the sideline will have to do.

He says he takes pride in the fact that he is still helping the team in some way. Seeing the game from a coach’s vantage point is very helpful. “I can now better understand how to make adjustments and how to better approach my position.” Frederick says he is optimistic about his chances. And while the light at the end of the tunnel may be a ways off, he does see a glimmer of hope.

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