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Denver Broncos Brendan Langley Supports Ehlers-Danlos Awareness

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Ehlers-Danlos syndrome awareness has made its way to the National Football League. Denver Broncos player Brendan Langley is sporting zebra-striped cleats for two weeks of the 2018 season. The customized cleats were made to raise awareness for the Ehlers-Danlos Society.

• What is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome?
• What Are Common Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Symptoms?

The zebra-striped cleats pay homage to the “mascot” of EDS and other rare diseases. Doctors and medical students are taught to think horses, not zebras if they hear hoofbeats — meaning the cause of a person’s symptoms is typically obvious. Because EDS is rare and often misdiagnosed as something else, the zebra is the mascot for EDS awareness.

Langley, who has a friend with EDS, is participating in #MyCauseMyCleats, a campaign where NFL players choose a cause to support through customized cleats. Shayla Swint, Langley’s friend, told The Ehlers-Danlos Society that she’s constantly reminded about the lack of awareness for EDS. Swint has hypermobile EDS.

“Many of us go years without a proper diagnosis,” Swint said. “We are made to feel as though our struggles aren’t real as a result of the lack of knowledge and awareness. Therefore, I was elated when my lifelong friend Brendan Langley thought enough of me to use his platform to bring awareness to EDS in honor of me, and all the other Zebras fighting every day.”

The My Cause, My Cleats campaign began during the 2016 NFL season. Langley’s cleats and chosen cause will be highlighted during the Dec. 15 game against the Cleveland Browns at 8:20 EST.

Photos via Twitter

Originally published: December 3, 2018
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