Packers great Aaron Taylor tackling sleep apnea



GREEN BAY — Former Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Aaron Taylor spent six years shielding quarterbacks in the National Football League from harm. Now he’s lending his protection skills to the public in hopes of defending against something far more dangerous than big, burly football players.

Taylor, a starter for the Packers’ Super Bowl XXXI championship team, returns to Green Bay Thursday, Nov. 8, for a free public event designed to educate and spread awareness of obstructive sleep apnea – the illness partially responsible for claiming the life of Taylor’s former teammate and Packers great, Reggie White.

Now a commentator for CBS college football broadcasts, Taylor will speak during a free community health talk from 6-7:30 p.m. on November 8 at Lambeau Field. He’ll share his personal experiences with sleep apnea during the program entitled, “The Health Effects of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.” Taylor will be joined by a sleep expert and cardiologist from Bellin Health.

The community health talk will showcase signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, illustrate the potential damage the condition can have on the human heart, and share a number of treatment options. Qualifying attendees will be considered for a take-home sleep apnea testing machine.

“I’m willing to do what it takes to get the word out about this condition,” Taylor said. “It’s definitely something that’s near and dear to my heart.”

It’s an especially important subject for Taylor, given that he was diagnosed with the ailment in 2009.

“Each night, my sleep apnea stopped me from breathing about 20 times per hour, and about 20 seconds each of those times. When you add it all up, that was almost an hour per night that I wasn’t breathing and getting the oxygen my body needed. That was extremely difficult on my heart and the rest of my body and it explained why I was so tired and never felt fully rested.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “persons with sleep apnea characteristically make periodic gasping or ‘snorting’ noises, during which their sleep is momentarily interrupted. … As interruption of regular breathing or obstruction of the airway during sleep can pose serious health complications, symptoms of sleep apnea should be taken seriously.”

Taylor’s visit is sponsored by Titletown Wellness, a partnership between the Green Bay Packers organization and Bellin Health to promote health, wellness and safety in Northeast Wisconsin.

The event is free and open to the general public. Visit http://www.bellin.org/sleepapnea for more information.

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About Titletown Wellness
Titletown Wellness is an exclusive partnership formed by the Green Bay Packers and Bellin Health to identify and implement initiatives that improve the health and wellness of people in this region. Both organizations are working together to develop events and programs to positively impact the health of our community. When the Titletown Wellness logo appears, services are provided by two of the most trusted organizations in Northeast Wisconsin.