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Bart Starr accepted into clinical trial using stem cells for treating stroke

 On Wednesday, the family of Bart Starr gave an update about the condition of the Pro Football Hall of Famer.

They said that following Starr's strokes, their family began to investigate numerous therapy options. 

Several months ago they applied for and were accepted into a clinical trial using stem cells. 

Last Friday, Starr and his family returned home from the first of the two treatments.

“While we welcome everyone's interest and support of Bart's health, at this time, we'd like to allow him a chance to fully participate in the clinical trial and let the results, if any, to speak for themselves,\" they wrote. \"At an appropriate time in the future, our family looks forward to sharing the details of Bart's participation in this most important clinical exploration of what role stem cells may play in the treatment of stroke.\"

According to the CDC, every year, more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke.

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death for Americans, but the risk of having a stroke varies with race and ethnicity. 

Risk of having a first stroke is nearly twice as high for blacks than for whites, and blacks are more likely to die following a stroke than are whites. 

Hispanics' risk for stroke falls between that of whites and blacks.

American Indians, Alaska Natives, and blacks are more likely to have had a stroke than are other groups.

More CDC Stroke Facts

Starr is the only Hall of Fame athlete trying this kind of treatment.

NHL great Gordie Howe just underwent his second stem cell treatment last week.

The NHL reports that the 87-year-old had a series of strokes in 2014, including a major one in October. 

His family has said they believe the first stem-cell treatment not only saved their father's life but has allowed him to enjoy it.

The medical science is still out on stem cells helping stroke survivors

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