NFL wife Janet Duranko speaks out for Pete and her family
My name is Janet Duranko, I was married to Pete Duranko for 44 years. Pete played with the Denver Broncos “67 to 76″ and as most of you know, Pete died July 8, 2011. I have been following Dave’s blog and sadly the stories of the NFL widows as we are now known and the hardships and rapidly declining health of the NFL retirees. I have been wanting to share my story for awhile but it was too hard to relive that horrible time. Pete was diagosed with ALS (Lou Gehrigs disease) in 1999, dementia in 2010 and CTE after we donated his brain, eyes and spinal cord to Boston University. My sons and I watched him die for twelve years. He was trached and on oxygen and a ventilator for 5 of his last years. For thjose who knew him, you all know what a joker he was and handled his disease with humor and courage. I too was given no help from the NFL and he was only on the “88” plan for one year before he died ( this after fighting for it for years). if it wasn’t fot the NFL alumni he wouldn’t even of had his wheel chair. I am thankful at least I’m praying that with the settlement all the retired players with ALS, dementia and declining health won’t have to go through what Pete and I did, medical expenses, financial hardship and refusals for help from theNFL. Tom Beer and Larry Kaminski were teammates of Petes and their families were dear friends of ours. Dave was Pete’s roommate at camp in Tampa, the year Pete retired. Thank you all for letting me share my story and sadly there are going to be many more. It is so tragic to me that the NFL not only stands for (not for long) as a career but also as a LIFESPAN!!! I MISS HIM SO MUCH, HE IS IN A MUCH BETTER PLACE! GOD BLESS YOU ALL!