Posted: 09/26/2012 | Last updated: September 26, 2012 at 04:15 PM
WACO, Texas – For the fifth consecutive year, college football coaches nationwide, including Lehigh head coach Andy Coen and his staff, will join together in support of the Coach to Cure MD program, which will be held during games of Saturday, September 29. The rapidly growing annual effort has raised more than one million dollars to battle Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy over the last four years.
On September 29th, American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) members will wear a Coach to Cure MD logo patch on the sidelines and college football fans will be asked to donate to research projects supported by Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, the largest nonprofit organization in the U.S. focused entirely on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
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).
In 2008, Coach To Cure MD burst on the scene with extensive national participation. Over 200 schools and 2,675 coaches participated in this partnership program between the American Football Coaches Association and Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy. Last year, more than 10,000 college coaches at 505 different institutions participated in Coach To Cure MD events. Both figures are well higher than in any of the program’s first three years.
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.
“Our coaching staff is once again thrilled to be engaged in this fight to defeat Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, explained Coen, who’s Mountain Hawks host Fordham on Saturday. “We’re blessed to be able to coach elite athletes at the Division I level and work with kids that are fulfilling their dreams of running around and playing football. To try and help some young boys that don’t have those opportunities is a great cause.”
In addition to the coaches’ efforts, families affected with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy will also gather for fund-raising tailgate parties on campuses around the country to encourage more fans to get involved.
“The AFCA is proud of the fact that Coach To Cure MD has surpassed one million dollars in donations,” said Grant Teaff, executive director of the AFCA and legendary former coach at Baylor. “Our coaches have only grown more enthusiastic for this cause in each of the last four years. We’re confident this season will once again set a record for participation on the field in September.
“I’m proud to be associated with the AFCA who has organized this endeavor,” Coen said. “I hope we can get a lot of support (on Saturday) and get a lot of people to text in. Every little bit helps. The amount of money that has been raised the last several years has been impressive. I’m sure we’re going to have another great day raising money for this great cause.”
About the AFCA
The American Football Coaches Association was founded in 1922 and is considered the primary professional association for football coaches at all levels of competition. The 10,000-member organization includes more than 90 percent of head coaches at the 700-plus schools that sponsor football at the college level. Members include coaches from Europe, Canada, Australia, Japan and Mexico.
Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) is a national not-for-profit organization founded in 1994 by parents of children with Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy. The organization’s mission is to improve the treatment, quality of life and long-term outlook for all individuals affected by Duchenne muscular dystrophy through research, advocacy, education and compassion. PPMD is headquartered in Middletown, Ohio with offices in Fort Lee, New Jersey. For more information, visit www.parentprojectmd.org.
The Mountain Hawks host Fordham Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at Goodman Stadium. The Rams’ coaching staff will also be participating in the Coach To Cure MD initiative. Tickets can be purchased by calling 610-7LU-GAME or by visiting Lehighsports.com.