By Linda Wilkins
Baylor will host Waco’s 2012 Muscular Dystrophy Association Muscle Walk at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Jay and Jenny Allison Indoor Football Practice Facility, part of the Dorothy Highers Athletic Complex on University Parks Dr.
The walk celebrates the months teams have spent raising money to research cures for muscular dystrophy diseases, Kristen Wheeler, executive director of the Muscular Dystrophy Association in Waco, said. Registration for the event is still open.
The walk benefits local children and adults who have a form of muscular dystrophy, Wheeler said.
Muscular dystrophy is a term that refers to about 40 different muscle-wasting diseases. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a form of muscular dystrophy. Muscular dystrophy diseases can affect a person of any age, Wheeler said.
John Morris, assistant athletic director for broadcasting at Baylor, said he is “a big believer in MDA.”
When Wheeler approached Morris and asked to hold the event at the indoor football field, Morris said he thought it was a great idea, and he wanted to “help in any way.”
People registered online through the MDA website as teams, and have been raising money since October, Wheeler said. Teams or individuals can still register by calling the MDA office in Waco at (254)399-8221, online at the MDA website at www.mda.org or at the event up to 30 minutes prior to the start of the walk, which will begin at 11 a.m.
Teams were encouraged to raise at least $74, which equals the cost to fund one minute of research for the diseases, Wheeler said. Those who reached this goal will receive a T-shirt.
Wheeler said the MDA is open to any donation.
Morris said they need to have as many Baylor students as possible and the community involved.
Wheeler said the celebration will include a pep rally. The Baylor Spirit Squad, Baylor softball coach Glenn Moore, the Baylor softball team, local Uproar artist Holly Tucker and Bruiser the mascot will be at the event to show their support for the MDA.
Moore is going to be the “Celebrity Starter” for the walk. He is “community-minded,” Morris said, noting how Moore changed the practice times on Saturday so the full coaching staff and women’s softball team could attend the event.
“We have a responsibility as coaches to expose our team to opportunities to commit their time and resources to a cause.
Though we are giving, we receive more than we give,” Moore said.
As part of the celebration, Wheeler said attendees, including those individuals with a muscular dystrophy disease, will take a “non-athletic” victory lap around the track of the indoor football field.