For the 12th consecutive year, college football coaches nationwide will drive an awareness campaign in September called Coach To Cure MD presented by Werner Ladder. The push culminates the weekend of Saturday, September 28, 2019, when coaches nationwide will wear patches on the sidelines with the cause's logo, with many also hosting boys battling Duchenne muscular dystrophy (Duchenne) on their sidelines.
This will be the seventh-straight year that members of the Peru State football coaching staff will wear patches in support of the cause. Coaching assistant Lou Varley has headed up the cause for the Bobcat football coaches for several years. Varley noted, "The Peru State coaching staff is humbled to do their small part by wearing the patches to support this cause."
Werner, the World Leader in Ladders, joins the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) in its efforts to cure Duchenne this season as the Presenting Sponsor of Coach To Cure MD. Coach To Cure MD is an initiative of Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD), the largest, most comprehensive nonprofit organization in the U.S. focused entirely on Duchenne.
Now in its twelfth year, Coach To Cure MD, annually involves over 10,000 football coaches at over 500 college and high school programs, making it the largest national game day charity event in football.
Duchenne is the most common fatal genetic disorder diagnosed during childhood, primarily affecting boys of all cultures. People with Duchenne 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. But thanks to Coach To Cure MD presented by Werner Ladder and the work of PPMD, there is hope.
A decade ago, few people in America knew about Duchenne and fewer still had reason to hope that any treatment for the fatal genetic disorder was on the horizon. Thanks in part to college football coaches, awareness of this disorder is at an all-time high and new treatments are in the pipeline – including two approved therapies – giving optimism for the families battling this progressive muscle disorder.
"The AFCA and our members take great pride in our annual work with Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy," AFCA Executive Director Todd Berry said. "We are thrilled to add Werner Ladder this year to support our cause and are confident they will multiply our work to raise awareness and much needed funds to help find a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Our goal is for every football fan to learn about this disorder and join us in the fight for a cure."
"Partnering with Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy and sponsoring Coach To Cure MD is a great privilege," said Stacy Gardella, Vice President of Brand Marketing at WernerCo. "We want to bring awareness to this terrible disease and challenge others to 'step up' with Werner Ladder to help find a cure."
The event has become a focal point in the greater fight to end Duchenne. In addition to the coaches' efforts, families affected by Duchenne will also gather for fundraising tailgate parties on campuses around the country to encourage more fans to get involved.
"Football is a team sport. Similarly with Duchenne, it will take a community of researchers, scientists, clinicians, industry partners, and of course families, to find treatments and stop the progression of this devastating disease. The ongoing commitment of the dedicated coaches in the AFCA is a major asset in this fight and we believe that Werner Ladder's engagement will help make sure every fan has a chance to join our cause," said Pat Furlong, founding president and CEO of PPMD. "Because of the dedication of all the coaches who honor our families and thanks to college football fans donating nationwide, we keep getting closer to the day we end Duchenne."
About the AFCA
The AFCA was founded in 1922 and currently has more than 11,000 members around the world ranging from the high school level to the professional ranks. The AFCA was formed, in part, to "maintain the highest possible standards in football and in the coaching profession" and to "provide a forum for the discussion and study of all matters pertaining to football."
About Werner Ladder
Werner, a WernerCo brand, is the world leader in ladders and has a complete line of climbing products designed for working at heights. The portfolio includes ladders, attic ladders, scaffolding, pump jacks, stages, planks, stepstools, accessories and fall protection equipment including harnesses, lanyards, anchors and compliance kits. From ladders to fall protection, Werner provides a full line of climbing equipment that is engineered to give you maximum safety, durability and productivity at every height. For more information, visit
About Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy
Duchenne is a fatal genetic disorder that slowly robs people of their muscle strength. Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) is the largest most comprehensive nonprofit organization in the United States focused on finding a cure for Duchenne—our mission is to end Duchenne.
We demand optimal care standards and strive to ensure every family has access to expert healthcare providers, cutting edge treatments, and a community of support. We invest deeply in treatments for this generation of Duchenne patients and in research that will benefit future generations. Our advocacy efforts have secured hundreds of millions of dollars in funding and won two FDA approvals.
Everything we do—and everything we have done since our founding in 1994—helps those with Duchenne live longer, stronger lives. We will not rest until we end Duchenne for every single person affected by the disease. Join our fight against Duchenne at and follow PPMD on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.