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Payton had just told her father the day before she took her own life that she was being bullied at school. The Freeze family believes that this, combined with the fact that Payton was found to have been suffering from CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, contributed to her death.

According to the Brain Injury Research Institute, the symptoms of CTE can be debilitating and cause “loss of memory, difficulty controlling impulsive or erratic behavior, impaired judgment, behavioral disturbances including aggression and depression, difficulty with balance, and a gradual onset of dementia.” CTE is typically caused by multiple concussions, but Payton only suffered from one, in 2014. Payton’s Project aims to bring awareness to both bullying and concussion prevention.

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