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Northwest Bearcats

Press Release

Oct. 23, 2008

Tjeerdsma, Schurig Join Fight Against Muscular Dystrophy

MARYVILLE, Mo. - This Saturday, college football coaches across the country will join to fight one opponent - Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. By wearing an arm band with the Coach to Cure MD insignia, coaches will show their support for Coach to Cure MD, the American Football Coaches Association's (AFCA) newest charitable project.

Both Mel Tjeerdsma and Craig Schurig will be showing their support this weekend when third-ranked Northwest Missouri State takes on Washburn at Yager Stadium. Game time for the MIAA matchup is 1 p.m.

"College football is a team game and all of us in the coaching profession are asking football fans to help us defeat the Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy," said Grant Teaff, a coaching legend at Baylor University, who is now the Executive Director of the American Football Coaches Association.

Football fans will be able to donate to muscular dystrophy research either online at CoachToCureMD.org or by texting the word "CURE" to 90999 to automatically donate $5 from their mobile phones.

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 and occurs across all races and cultures.

Boys and young men with Duchenne lack dystrophin, a protein critical to the structural stability of muscle fibers. Patients 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 and limited therapeutic options exist.

The AFCA is joining with the Parent Project for Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) to make Coach to Cure MD a reality and generate support for research using the nationwide, one-day, game-day event.

"College football coaches are dedicated to the betterment of young men and defeating Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy fits with our mission," Teaff said. "By focusing the eyes of the entire football world on MD for one college game day, we can raise awareness and funds for life-saving research and support the core academic missions of universities and colleges."

"We take 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. "This project is totally aligned with our goals and we are excited about the Coach to Cure and the opportunities it presents."

For more information, please contact:

Media Relations Department, Northwest Athletics
sid@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1118 | Fax: 660.562.1582

Northwest Athletics
Lamkin Activity Center | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468