Jason Hairston, Ex-NFL Player and Trump Jr. Hunting Partner, Dead at 47

September 7, 2018 Updated: September 7, 2018

Jason Hairston, a former NFL player and hunting partner of Donald Trump Jr.., has died at the age of 47.

“We are shocked and saddened to announce the tragic passing of KUIU founder Jason Hairston,” his hunting company, KUIU, wrote on Twitter on Sept. 5. “His legacy lives on in KUIU’s spirit of relentless innovation.”

The company later said on its website that he “took his own life.”

“He is survived by his wife Kirstyn and 2 children,” KUIU said. “The family has requested that donations be made to support CTE-related research at the Boston University Concussion Legacy Foundation in lieu of sending flowers.”

Hairston told CNBC in 2016 that he was suffering from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), a brain disease that is often found in athletes, namely football players.

“I played linebacker, and the way I played the game, I led with my head. I played the way they tell us not to play now,” Hairston told the outlet. “I have all the symptoms of CTE.”

Hairston played football for University of California, Davis, and later played professionally for the San Francisco 49ers. He retired in 1996.

Hairston had uploaded several photos of his outings with the younger Trump, Fox News reported. Hairston and his family went to the White House in December 2017.

Trump Jr., the son of President Donald Trump, wrote about his death.

“Jason, I have no words. I will always remember our adventures and sharing a campfire with you. They will be some of my fondest experiences in the outdoors. You were and will continue to be an inspiration to all outdoorsmen and women for generations to come. Thanks for the friendship and the memories buddy. I’m going to miss you. R.I.P,” he wrote on Instagram.

The family of Hairston has asked people to make donations to support CTE-related research at the Boston University Concussion Legacy Foundation, according to People magazine.

CTE Details

According to the Concussion Legacy Foundation, CTE “is a degenerative brain disease found in athletes, military veterans, and others with a history of repetitive brain trauma. In CTE, a protein called Tau forms clumps that slowly spread throughout the brain, killing brain cells. CTE has been seen in people as young as 17, but symptoms do not generally begin appearing until years after the onset of head impacts.”

The ” symptoms of CTE usually appear in a patient’s late 20s or 30s, and affect a patient’s mood and behavior. Some common changes seen include impulse control problems, aggression, depression, and paranoia,” says the website.

It adds: “Cognitive symptoms tend to appear later than mood and behavioral symptoms, and generally first appear in a patient’s 40s or 50s. Patients may exhibit one or both symptom clusters. In some cases, symptoms worsen with time (even if the patient suffers no additional head impacts). In other cases, symptoms may be stable for years before worsening.”

If someone is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or to text “Talk” to 741741.

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