RUSSELLVILLE, Arkansas (ATU) – The Arkansas Tech Football coaches, along with more than 500 other collegiate football coaches nationwide will be participating in the Coach to Cure MD to raise awareness of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy during this Saturday night's Gulf South Conference game at Arkansas-Monticello.
Tech's coaches will be wearing a logo patch on their coaches' shirts with the Coach to Cure MD insignia on it. By wearing the logo patch, the coaches will show their support for Coach to Cure MD and to fight against the disease.
"The AFCA, along with Grant Teaff started this initiative three years ago and has asked all the coaches to once again wear these arm patches to raise awareness and raise funds to help fight against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy," Tech Head Football Coach and Athletic Director Steve Mullins said. "This is a small way we can make a difference in the fight against MD."
The Coach to Cure MD is a project of Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy in partnership with American Football Coaches Association (AFCA). PPMD is the largest nonprofit organization in the United States focused entirely on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
Last year, over 5,200 college coaches at 351 different institutions participated in the second Coach to Cure MD event. Both of those figures are well higher than the program's inaugural year in 2008, when 2,675 coaches from 207 schools took part.
Since the Coach to Cure MD program began in 2008, nearly half-a-million dollars has been raised to battle Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
"Coach to Cure MD is a tremendous cause for the sport of college football," said Grant Teaff, executive director of the AFCA and legendary former coach at Baylor University. "The coaches' support during the last two seasons has been outstanding, and we aim for even more success this year. The AFCA is proud to be involved in such an important effort."
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is the most common fatal genetic disorder diagnosed during childhood. Because the Duchenne gene is found on the X-chromosome, it primarily affects boys; however, it occurs across all races and cultures. The disease, which is genetic, affects 1 in every 3,500 live male births across all races and cultures. As of this time, there is no cure and life expectancy is in the mid 20's for people affected.
"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," Teaff added. "Our coaches are determined to beat Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and we need college football fans to help."
The financial service firm TIAA-CREF has signed on again this year as the national sponsor and will donate air-time on Sept. 25 for a Coach to Cure MD commercial featuring football legends, Jim Tressel and Rich Rodriguez.
College 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 messaging rates apply).
"Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy is thrilled with the progress of Coach to Cure MD over the last two years," said Pat Furlong, founding president and CEO of PPMD. "The AFCA and its coaches are helping us put up a vigorous fight against Duchenne, and college football fans have joined the battle in great numbers. We are taking a comprehensive approach in the fight against Duchenne – funding research, raising awareness, promoting advocacy, connecting the community and broadening treatment options."
For more information on Coach to Cure MD, please visit www.CoachtoCureMD.org. For more information on the AFCA, visit www.afca.com.
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