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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Dolphins legend Nick Buoniconti is donating his brain to science.

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The hall of fame linebacker, who played on the undefeated 1972 team, has suffered from the effects of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) for years.

During his announcement at Boston University Friday, Buoniconti broke down as he thanked family members and doctors for their support.

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“This is not easy, it’s difficult. I’m not half the man I used to be,” Buoniconti said. “I don’t do this for myself. I do it for the thousands of others who will follow me.”

In a statement released Friday, Buoniconti’s son Marc said, in part:

“True to his nature, he continues to try and help others even while he wages his own battle.  Just as he has done for me for more than 32 years as we’ve searched for a cure for paralysis, we will all stand beside him as he searches for answers.”

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Marc Buoniconti is the president of the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis.