Sept. 24, 2009
EAST LANSING, Mich. - This Saturday, Michigan State's Mark Dantonio will join thousands of coaches nationwide in all levels of collegiate football by wearing an armband with the Coach to Cure MD logo to raise awareness and research funding for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, the most prolific genetic killer diagnosed in childhood. Now in its second year, Coach to Cure MD is a project of Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) in partnership with the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA).
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is the most common fatal genetic disorder diagnosed during childhood and primarily affects boys across all races and cultures. Boys and young men with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy develop progressive muscle weakness that eventually causes loss of mobility, wheelchair dependency and a decline in respiratory and cardiac function. Currently, there is no cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and limited therapeutic options exist.
The Duchenne gene is found on the X-chromosome, so it primarily affects boys - approximately one in every 3,500 live male births across all races and cultures.
In a partnership with PPMD, all coaches in the AFCA have been invited to participate in Coach to Cure MD: a one-day, game-day awareness event and fundraiser for Duchenne research. Football fans can donate to Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research by either going online to www.CoachtoCureMD.org or by texting the word "CURE" to 90999 (a $5 donation will automatically be added to your next phone bill and standard text message rates apply).
"College football coaches are dedicated to the betterment of young men and that's why the entire coaching profession is proud to be a part of Coach to Cure MD," AFCA executive director and legendary former Baylor coach Grant Teaff said. "Our coaches are determined to beat Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and we need college football fans to help."
"Once again, I'm excited to participate in the Coach to Cure MD project," Coach Dantonio said. "I join college coaches across America in an attempt to build awareness about this disorder and encourage fans to provide their financial support to assist researchers, who are hard at work trying to find a treatment and cure."
Last year, some 2,675 college coaches participated in the inaugural Coach to Cure MD event that helped generate more than $270,000 in cash donations and advertising.
"We are thrilled to be teammates again this year with the AFCA for Coach to Cure MD," founding president and CEO of PPMD Pat Furlong said. "The commitment of the coaches and universities that are participating is truly inspiring. We are taking a comprehensive approach in the fight against Duchenne--funding research, raising awareness, promoting advocacy, connecting the community, and broadening treatment options. And with the support of the AFCA and college football fans everywhere, we are confident that we will end Duchenne."