College football programs across the country Saturday, will observe the ‘Coach to Cure MD’ day by raising awareness and research funds to fight muscular dystrophy. CSU-Pueblo will support the same cause Saturday during its game with Colorado School of Mines at 2 p.m., but will have a seasoned advocate for muscular dystrophy leading the way.
Lindsay Reeves, a 20-year-old sophomore mass communications major, will serve as honorary captain at Saturday’s football game when the CSU-Pueblo Athletic Department and Pack Football program seek to create awareness for the affliction from which Reeves suffers.
Reeves has been a tireless advocate of awareness for muscular dystrophy, a disease she has fought for her entire life. Thirteen years ago, she joined with the Muscular Dystrophy Association for “Lindsay’s Gala,” a silent and live action fundraiser with proceeds benefitting the MDA. “Lindsay’s Gala” has raised more than $15,000 throughout the lifetime of the event, including $5,000 at last year’s event. The event has been hosted by KOAA-TV Meterologist Craig Eliot for the past six years, and has benefitted from donations from Dillard’s ManagerBruce Clark, the CSU-Pueblo Athletic Department, and other local businesses. Funds for the gala have gone toward providing flu shots, group therapy sessions, wheelchairs, leg braces, summer camp experiences , and clinics for children and adults affected by muscular dystrophy.
Reeves’ life has been shaped by muscular dystrophy, and she has dedicated her life’s work to creating awareness and raising much-needed funds for victims of the disease. She is majoring in mass communications with an emphasis in public relations and advertising and is pursuing minors in marketing, non-profit management and leadership studies. She has become active in Associated Students’ Government at CSU-Pueblo and is the Vice President for Legislative Affairs. She is also a member of the President’s Leadership Program, serving as a Community Advisory Board student member, and a member of the 2009 Retreat Planning Committee.
“Lindsay has a remarkable story and has already proven that she’s a great spokeswoman for awareness of muscular dystrophy,” CSU-Pueblo Head Coach John Wristen said. “We are honored to do whatever we can to create awareness for her fight and this cause."
“Coach to Cure MD,” a national charity project of the American Football Coaches’ Association (AFCA), will engage thousands of fans nationwide to create awareness and raise funds for the fight against muscular dystrophy. During the ThunderWolves’ game with the Colorado School of Mines, coaches will wear a “Coach to Cure MD” logo patch on the sidelines, and 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, the most prolific genetic killer diagnosed in childhood.
Fans can donate to Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research either by 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. Standard text message rates apply).
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. No cure exists for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, and limited therapeutic options are available.
“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,” said Grant Teaff, AFCA executive director and legendary former coach of Baylor University. “Our coaches are determined to beat Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, and we need college football fans to help.”
Last year, more than 2,675 college coaches participated in the inaugural Coach to Cure MD event. Teaff said he expects an even wider cross-section of coaches to participate in the program’s second year. Families affected with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy also will gather for fund-raising tailgate parties on campuses around the country to encourage more fans to get involved.
“We are thrilled to be teammates again this year with the AFCA for Coach to Cure MD. 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,” said Pat Furlong, founding president and CEO of PPMD. “And with the support of the AFCA and college football fans everywhere, we are confident that we will end Duchenne.”
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.