Inspired By His Sister, Patriots Easley Bringing Awareness to Illness

Ian Logue
July 07, 2015 at 06:00am ET

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Patriots fans haven't had the opportunity to see much of last year's first round selection Dominique Easley, but off the field he's proving to be the type of player who if his play can match the size of his heart, he should be fun to watch in the coming years.

The second-year defensive lineman is facing high expectations as New England starts making a youth movement up front on the Patriots' defensive line.  But the biggest impact he's been making so far have been coming from his efforts off the gridiron as he's worked on bringing awareness to an illness that hits close to home.

According to Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe, Easley's sister, Destinee, was diagnosed with fibromyalgia five years ago, which is a chronic disorder that causes widespread pain and fatigue.  It's been something which, at times, has left her too tired to go to get out of bed and go to school and now Easley is trying to use his new-found fame in the NFL to try and make a difference with a disorder that affects an estimated 5 million Americans.

“Just being at the stage that I’m at can really help bring awareness to the illness,” he told the newspaper. “If I wasn’t in the NFL, there wouldn’t be the awareness going on that I’m bringing because of the position that I’m in.”

Easley has established a website, EasleysAwareness.com, which states his mission is, "Destined to Cure Fibromyalgia through awareness and education."  He encourages everyone to join him as he tries to fight this battle that will help people around the world.

Easley is scheduled to take part in an upcoming football camp on July 25th where Centers for Integrative Medicine and Healing will partner to help stomp out the disease through an NFL kids' skills camp called 'Champs Camp'.

The camp will be held for children ages six through 17 and will teach offensive and defensive skills. It's scheduled to take place on Sunday, July 25 at Hormel Stadium in Medford, MA. Participants will compete in NFL combine style drills designed to increase speed, agility and stamina.

According to a recent press release, doctors from CIMH will be on site to perform free health screenings for children and their mothers, while also distributing health and prevention handouts.  They'll also be administering free Acupuncture tests.  Portions of the proceeds from Champs Camp will go to Fibromyalgia research.

For now Easley's motivation remains his sister, who he said inspires him to push forward during those times he thinks he potentially isn't able to do something.

“That’s my baby sister. Seeing her go through pain every day and not be able to walk or even get out of bed sometimes, I have no excuse to say that I can’t do something,” Dominique told the newspaper. “She’s been fighting since she was 11. It’s really more of a motivation for me.”

Yet another great reason to be rooting for him when he takes the field this season.

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