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Arizona Cardinals

Former Cardinal Roy Green helping lead the charge against sleep apnea

In 1984, Roy Green ran a 4.2-second 40-yard dash, making him one of the fastest players in the NFL.

Over 25 years later, the man they called "Jetstream" is feeling as good as he was the day he hung up his cleats.

The reason? Green received a screening for sleep apnea, a disorder characterized by abnormal pauses in breathing or instances of low breathing during sleep.

"I've had some health issues for the last three or four years and I definitely wasn't sleeping -- two hours max in the evening and I'd wake up and be up for another couple hours just back and forth," Green said during a recent interview. "When you don't sleep well, you're just miserable the next day.

"So I finally got tested, got the oral appliance, and now I have more energy than I had when I was playing."

Green and others are sharing the message about the importance of sleep apnea testing. He, along with former teammates Derek Kennard and Mark Walczak and current Cardinals star receiver Larry Fitzgerald, are part of The Pro Players Health Alliance -- an organization dedicated to helping former NFL players through providing testing and treatment options for those who suffer from sleep apnea.

PPHA is hosting a public awareness seminar Thursday April 18 at the Sheraton Crescent Hotel in Phoenix which is open to the public.

Statistics show that 37 million Americans experience regular or chronic snoring and 18 million suffer from sleep apnea. The Alliance's findings among athletes have been eye-opening.

"We've found that eight out of ten guys that we've tested, athletes, present and former, have tested positive for sleep apnea," Green said.

But the two-time Pro Bowler isn't the only former Cardinal affected by the disorder. Kennard, who will also be at the seminar, has seen other health improvements following a test for sleep apnea.

"Derek's lost 162 pounds since getting the oral appliance because he has more energy," Green said. "He's sleeping, and his body is responding."

Green urges the public to educate themselves on this debilitating disease.

"We think that up to 70% of America is probably affected by it and don't even know it," he said. "Just think how your quality of life can change by taking one simple test.

"And even if you don't have it, somebody you love has it. This is saving people's lives."

Event Details

Date: Thursday, April 18
Time: 7:00 p.m. (open to public)
Location: Sheraton Crescent Hotel
2620 W. Dunlap Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85021


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