Hope head football coach Dean Kreps, center right

Hope head football coach Dean Kreps and his coaching staff are joining a national effort to find a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the most common fatal childhood genetic disorder.

Kreps and his assistant coaches will wear the patch “Coach To Cure M-D” on their arms during Saturday’s game at Illinois Wesleyan. They are joining thousands of college football coaches across the United States doing so this week.

“My staff and I are honored to be part of the national campaign ‘Coach to Cure MD’,” Kreps said. There is a unique connection between Duchenne, a disorder that robs young men of precious muscle strength and college football, a game where young men are at the peak of their muscle strength. We are proud to help raise national awareness of this disorder and we hope to help raise money to fund research for a cure.

The American Football Coaches Association is working to raise awareness and research funding to combat the disease.

Fans can join the AFCA’s drive by either donating online at CoachToCureMD.org or text the word “CURE” to 9099 to donate $5 on your next mobile phone bill.

The Duchenne gene is found on the X-chromosome so it primarily impacts boys. Approximately one in every 3,500 live male births are born with it.

Duchenne is a progressive muscle disorder that causes loss of muscle function and independence. To date, there is no cure, and live expectancy is just in the 20s.

In 2012, more than 10,000 college football coaches at a record 580 different institutions took part in “Coach To Cure MD” events. 

“The AFCA membership has enthusiastically embraced Coach To Cure MD,” said Grant Teaff, executive director of the AFCA and former Baylor University football coach “We are proud of the commitment shown at all levels of competition to help raise funding for such an important cause.”