During last Saturday’s home victory against Beltway rival Howard University, the Morgan State football team participated in the annual Coach to Cure Muscular Dystrophy program.
The initiative, in its eighth year, aims to raise money and awareness for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the most common and fatal genetic disorder associated with muscular dystrophy.
The disease primarily affects boys of all ages, with victims developing progressive muscle weakness that eventually causes a loss of mobility, a dependency on a wheelchair to get around, and a decline in both cardiac and respiratory function.
Morgan State welcomed Owen Liddic, 11, and his family, as a host family for the Bears’ Coach to Cure efforts during Saturday’s contest, part of a memorable night at Hughes Stadium.
Owen is in the 5th grade and attends Youth’s Benefit Elementary School in Fallston, Md. He was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy at an early age. He was 3 months old when an abnormal muscle enzyme blood test revealed the illness. Owen is currently in a clinical trial and has had five surgeries in the last three years due to the clinical trial requirements.
On Friday, Owen and his family took a tour of the campus and attended the Bears’ practice and met MSU’s football staff and student-athletes. Interim head coach Fred T. Farrier assigned Owen as an honorary member of the Bears quarterback unit. He received a scouting report, a position manual, and sat in on the quarterback meetings.
On gameday, Owen joined the Bears on the sidelines and was recognized on the field during an extended TV timeout during the game. Owen’s mother, Melissa, was interviewed on WEAA, 88.9 FM about the Coach to Cure MD program at halftime.
“Our kids really took to Owen,” said Farrier. “He had an opportunity to be in the locker room with us and visit with us. It made a huge impact on us and it gave our guys an opportunity to see how fortunate we are with everything we do.”
“It’s important to understand that there are other things going on in the world and that we have a chance to go out and participate in some of the things which make our society and our world a better place. ”
“We were extremely happy to participate in the Coach to Cure program this weekend with the AFCA.”
There is no cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, but through efforts such as the Coach to Cure program, which is held in conjunction with the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), thousands of college football coaches across the country will show their support by wearing special patches during their games.
For more information on the program and Duchenne muscular dystrophy, or to donate, visit CoachToCureMD.org.
ABOUT THE AMERICAN FOOTBALL COACHES ASSOCIATION (AFCA)
The AFCA is the professional association that represents more than 90 percent of head coaches at American colleges and universities. Founded in 1921, the AFCA has promoted the improvement of the coaching profession and has highlighted the good work of coaches on and off the field. Visit AFCA.com for more information.