After Chris Chandler won a celebrity golf tournament, the first thing he did was give his father-in-law, 49ers legend John Brodie, a great big hug.
Chris, the former 49ers quarterback, dedicated his American Century Celebrity Championship golf tournament victory to John, who also played quarterback for the 49ers during his time in San Francisco.
Seven years ago, Brodie suffered a near-fatal stroke. But after two stem-cell treatments in Russia, he has made remarkable improvement over the recent months, with his ability to move his right leg substantially improved and his speech less impaired. Today, he was in the gallery to watch Chris win the tournament.
“From the night it happened to where he is now, it’s a small miracle,” said Chandler, who is married to Brodie’s daughter Diane. “I’m sure there is a level of frustration that he fights every day. But I think as time goes on, he’s showing his strength as a person to hang in there and enjoy life as he can. He’s as tough as nails.”
Another stem-cell treatment is already in the works for the 71-year-old Brodie according to Chris. Brodie no longer has the right arm that led the 49ers to three consecutive division titles in the 1970s, but he is hoping to add the limited mobility he has, and erase even more of the residual effects left from his stroke.