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Isaiah Austin: 5 Things To Know About His Disease, Marfan Syndrome

Mon, June 23, 2014 3:49pm EDT by HL Intern Add first Comment
Isaiah Austin Marfan Syndrome
Courtesy of Cooper Neill/Sports/Getty

Isaiah Austin announced on June 22 that he had received life-altering news that abruptly ended his basketball career — he was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome. The horrifying ordeal took place just before he could participate in the June 26 NBA draft. So has rounded up five key facts you need to know about Marfan syndrome.

Isaiah Austin, 25, told the public on June 22 that he would no longer be a candidate for the June 26 NBA draft due to medical issues. The former Baylor center was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome and the disease will prevent the basketball star from continuing his dreams to play professionally. The heartbreaking news came just after he finished his pre-draft physical testing for the NBA. has gathered up 5 things you must know about the disease that forever sidelined Isaiah.

Isaiah Austin: 5 Things To Know About Marfan Syndrome

1. What is Marfan syndrome?

Marfan syndrome is a disorder that affects connective tissue, according to The Marfan Foundation. Connective tissue holds all the body’s cells, organs and tissue together. The syndrome affects about one in 5,000 people.

2. There are physical symptoms that are easier to be seen than others.

Here are few of the symptoms that you can see in people with Marfan syndrome:

-Long arms, legs and fingers
-Tall and thin body type
-Curved spine
-Chest sinks in or sticks out
-Flexible joints
-Flat feet
-Crowded teeth
-Stretch marks on the skin that are not related to weight gain or loss

3. Marfan syndrome can be diagnosed in both men and women.

The syndrome doesn’t attack just one gender and occurs among all races and ethnic groups. Most people with Marfan syndrome inherit the abnormal gene from a parent who has the disorder. Each child of an affected parent has a 50-50 chance of inheriting the defective gene.

4. Marfan syndrome has no cure, but there are treatments.

The damage caused by Marfan syndrome can be mild or severe. If your heart or blood vessels are at risk, the condition can become life-threatening. While there is no cure, treatments can help delay or prevent complications. Treatments include medicines, surgery, and other therapies. Women with the syndrome can and do have healthy babies. A doctor can help prevent problems with your heart while you are pregnant.

5. Isaiah Austin is not the first athlete to be diagnosed Marfan syndrome.

Marfan syndrome received greater awareness after it claimed the life of volleyball player Flo Hyman in 1986. Flo’s aorta was weakened and she died unexpectedly in Japan at the age of 31.

We wish Isaiah well as he continues to battle this terrible disease!

— Brittany King

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