NEW YORK, Dec. 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Football League (NFL) unveiled the 2019 My Cause My Cleats initiative, which allows players to utilize their platform by customizing their gameday cleats to raise awareness for nonprofit organizations they support. Jeff Heuerman of the Denver Broncos, Nyheim Hines of the Indianapolis Colts and Dan Bailey of the Minnesota Vikings will wear cleats for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) on gameday, Sunday, Dec. 8.
The Muscular Dystrophy Association, a national not-for-profit organization committed to transforming the lives of people living with muscular dystrophy, ALS and related neuromuscular diseases, serves over 250,000 people in the United States. MDA funds innovative scientific research and clinical care to find treatments and cures for over 43 neuromuscular diseases and has supported unprecedented breakthroughs. In the past five years alone, the FDA has approved eight new treatments for people with neuromuscular diseases allowing them to live longer and grow stronger.
This Sunday, Heuerman will wear the MDA cleats when the Denver Broncos play the Houston Texans. Hines will wear his MDA cleats when the Indianapolis Colts face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Bailey will wear his MDA cleats when the Minnesota Vikings play the Detroit Lions at home.
Hines' connection to muscular dystrophy includes family members and fans living with neuromuscular disease. "I'm happy to have the opportunity to use my platform to spread awareness of muscular dystrophy. There are so many types that affect so many families. I'm just happy to passionately represent a cause that's bigger than myself," said Hines.
Heuerman's cleats feature the name "Jacob Jarvis," who lives with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). DMD is a genetic disorder characterized by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness caused by an absence of dystrophin, a protein that helps keep muscle cells intact. Jarvis has been a long-time fan of Heuerman since he played for Ohio State Buckeyes football.
"I have a very close friend in Jacob and the way he continues to fight and stay strong inspires me every day. Together, raising awareness about DMD will help the goal of finding a cure," said Heuerman.
Players will have the opportunity to raise money for their cause by auctioning their cleats off at the NFL Auction. 100 percent of funds raised will be donated to the player's charities. Fans may bid on game-issued player cleats to help players raise funds for their chosen causes. Fans can bid on Jeff Heuerman cleats here. MDA social media channels are supporting the auction of the cleats using the hashtag #mycausemycleats. Visit MDA's channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
"We are grateful for the passionate support of Jeff Heuerman, Nyheim Hines and Dan Bailey and their teams," said Lynn O'Connor Vos, President and CEO of MDA. "The love and support they give to our community in honor of their friends and families living with neuromuscular disease is incredible, and the awareness they are raising is critical to fund research and care," she continued. "Support for MDA enables us to fund researchers working toward breakthrough therapies, which may have a life-changing impact on patients."
About the Muscular Dystrophy Association
MDA is committed to transforming the lives of people affected by muscular dystrophy, ALS and related neuromuscular diseases. We do this through innovations in science and innovations in care. As the largest source of funding for neuromuscular disease research outside of the federal government, MDA has committed more than $1 billion since our inception to accelerate the discovery of therapies and cures. Research we have supported is directly linked to life-changing therapies across multiple neuromuscular diseases. MDA's Neuromuscular ObserVational Research (MOVR) data hub gathers longitudinal clinical data for multiple neuromuscular diseases to improve health outcomes and accelerate therapy development. MDA supports the largest network of multidisciplinary clinics providing best in class care at more than 150 of the nation's top medical institutions, and our national resource center serves the community with one-on-one specialized support and we offer educational conferences, events, and materials for families and healthcare providers. Each year thousands of children and young adults learn vital life skills and gain independence at summer camp and through recreational programs, at no cost to families. For more information visit mda.org.
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SOURCE Muscular Dystrophy Association