Mark Walczak Honors His Best Friend, Junior Seau, By Helping His Family Get Treated For Sleep Apnea And Spreading Awareness To The Public With Pro Player Health Alliance

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Former San Diego Charger, Mark Walczak, honors Junior Seau by continuing to work with dental icon, David Gergen, in educating the public on the severe effects of untreated sleep apnea through Pro Player Health Alliance events across the country.

Mark Walczak and Jr Seau nfl sleep apnea ppha pro player health alliance

Mark Walczak and Jr Seau

Millions of Americans are suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), but many of these people are unaware that they have OSA. OSA is a syndrome caused by obstruction of the upper airway. It is characterized by repetitive pauses in breathing during sleep, despite the effort to breathe, and is usually associated with a reduction in blood oxygen saturation. With over 12 million Americans diagnosed with OSA and an estimate of millions more whom have not yet been diagnosed, Pro Player Health Alliance (PPHA) is on a mission to spread awareness of the deadly disorder by putting on free public events across the country. Mark Walczak, former San Diego Charger said, “I heard about the campaign and wanted to become involved in efforts to get the word out about what sleep apnea can do to you".

Mark is one of the most popular players among the guys from the NFLPA Phoenix, AZ Chapter and is liked by everyone he comes in contact with. Since meeting David Gergen, President of PPHA, they have become very good friends. “I lost my best friend Junior Seau from the effects of this condition and I am trying to spread awareness to save lives," said Walczak.

Although Mark currently lives in Arizona, he is heavily involved in the California communities and remains in contact with Junior's family. In addition to over 150 former NFL players who have been treated due to PPHA's "Tackle Sleep Apnea" campaign, Mark referred many of Junior's family members to his most trusted doctor in California, Dr. Bradley Eli. Walczak says, "Sleep deprivation is used to torture prisoners of war; you can only imagine how Junior felt having gotten little to no sleep most nights of the week. I want to make sure his family is taken care of and doesn't have to feel the effects of untreated sleep apnea".

The next event hosted by Pro Player Health Alliance will be sponsored by Dr. Bradley Eli in California this May with the likes of HOF CB Mike Haynes, WR Roy Green, Derek Kennard and former San Diego Charger Mark Walczak. Typical events range in size of 120 to 300 people, so it is important to register early. In addition, players will be signing autographs and photo opportunities will be available for anyone in attendance. Registration can be found at

Event Details

Date: May 21, 2013
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Scripps Schaetzel Center, 9890 Genesse Ave La Jolla, CA

About David Gergen

David Gergen, CDT and President of Pro Player Health Alliance, has been a nationally respected dental lab technician for over 25 years. He received the award for “The Finest Orthodontic Technician in the Country” given by Columbus Dental in 1986. He also has been appointed chair of the dental wing of the American Sleep and Breathing Academy a national interdisciplinary academy dedicated to sleep training and education with over 60,000 members. David rolled out of bed on September 12, 1981 and had his career “ah ha” moment. He knew he was going to be an orthodontic technician and he knew he was going to help people all over the country to help treat their sleep disorders in partnership with their dentists. He has worked for some of the pioneers in the orthodontic and sleep dentistry fields. He was the personal technician for the likes of Dr. Robert Ricketts, Dr. Ronald Roth, Dr. A. Paul Serrano, Dr. Clark Jones, Dr. Harold Gelb, Dr. Joseph R. Cohen, Dr. Rodney Willey, Dr. Allan Bernstein, and Dr. Thien Pham. One of his proudest achievements is receiving The National Leadership award for Arizona Small

About Dr. Bradley Eli

Dr. Eli earned a post-doctoral Master’s Degree at UCLA where he received advanced training in sleep disorders. He remains the only expert with this unique skill set in the San Diego region. Dr. Eli is on the hospital staff at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla and UCSD. He is a member of numerous professional associations including the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. He holds multiple patents in the fields of both sleep and pain.

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Kyle Jacobs
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