Buffalo State | Sack Muscle Disease

Ryan Mutterer and Bengals Join Muscle Movement Foundation; Plan to Sack Muscle Disease


BUFFALO, NY- The Muscle Movement Foundation (MMF) is pleased to welcome the Buffalo State College Football Team to Team Muscle Up! The champions of Buffalo State's Football Team are uniting for the MMF's "Muscle Champions" - individuals who are living and refusing to lose to muscle disease. Bringing a team effort to the MMF’s fight, the Bengals plan to play with a purpose to "Sack Muscle Disease" on 10/29/16 at 11:15 a.m. against Hartwick College. The Muscle Movement Foundation is thrilled to deliver the MMF message to the Bengals athletes and have the opportunity to raise essential awareness in the city of Buffalo; and credit goes to one specific Bengal.

The Muscle Movement Foundation has welcomed a special individual, a Bengal football player, to the list of Team Muscle Up Advocates. Team Muscle Up Advocates are individuals who are not affected by neuromuscular disease, yet have been inspired by the strength of the MMF's Muscle Champions - individuals living and refusing to lose to muscle disease. Buffalo State's Ryan Mutterer has taken initiative in joining the MMF and has inspired his fellow teammates and coaches to unite in the fight against muscle disease. Mutterer, a junior on the Buffalo State Football Team, is an essential component to the team. Positioned as the team's kicker/punter, Ryan ensures the Bengals capitalize on every possible opportunity to score points, and provides the best opportunity for the Bengals defense to earn a turnover. A strong and accurate leg is just one piece of Mutterer's ability to lead the team. Mutterer, now an upperclassman, works to lead his team on and off of the field. Portraying excellence in the classroom, in the community, and on the playing field is important to Ryan. He encourages his teammates to do the same, while he looks forward to the potential opportunity in earning the title of team captain in 2017.

Buffalo State's Ryan Mutterer practicing his field goal attempts.

Buffalo State's Ryan Mutterer practicing his field goal attempts.

After learning about the Muscle Movement Foundation, Ryan capitalized on the special opportunity the Muscle Movement Foundation provides across the country. Ryan learned of the Muscle Movement Foundation through a friend, a special individual, Matthew Murray. Matthew Murray, a phenomenal athlete, is living with a form of muscle disease. One year ago, Matthew and Matthew's sister, Colleen, established a strong relationship with Mr. Rob DeMasi, the founder and president of the Muscle Movement Foundation. DeMasi, greatly inspired by Matthew's perseverance and accolades, promised the Murray's he would help them raise significant awareness in their local city of Buffalo. Matthew and Colleen connected Ryan Mutterer to DeMasi, where Mutterer was thrilled to learn the Muscle Movement Foundation advocates for a cause dear to his heart and provides a way he can make a difference for Matthew by way of a sport he loves - football. The foundation was set!

Ryan Mutterer, the Buffalo State Football Team, and MMF Founder and President, Rob DeMasi, are thrilled to welcome a very strong asset to the Bengals Team. Muscle Movement Foundation "Muscle Champion" and honorary captain/coach for the Buffalo State Bengals Football Team is Matthew Murray!!

Matthew Murray is from Buffalo, NY and was born on 1/30/93. After his parents were alarmed by often falls, Matthew was diagnosed at the age of three with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). DMD is a genetic disease that causes progressive muscle degeneration and weakness throughout the body. It is 100% fatal, and unfortunately has no cure. At a young age Matt tried every sport, but particularly enjoyed baseball with his twin brother, Daniel, and his Dad as his coach. Unfortunately, this only lasted for a short period. At 10 years old, the disease progressed causing it to be too difficult for Matthew to participate any longer. Matt's mother immediately began to look into a sport for him to play, and found sled hockey! Matt instantly fell in love with the sport. Interestingly, the sport had a bigger impact on Matt than simply providing the satisfaction of winning a trophy. Matt was around other kids with disabilities and was a member of a team, which had a tremendous impact on his social development and helped him embrace his "disability". 

Muscle Movement Foundation Muscle Champion and Buffalo State College Football Team's Honorary Captain/Coach, Matthew Murray

Muscle Movement Foundation Muscle Champion and Buffalo State College Football Team's Honorary Captain/Coach, Matthew Murray

Around the same time Matthew discovered his love for sled hockey, he lost his ability to walk and began to use a power wheelchair to maintain autonomy. After transitioning to a power wheelchair, Matt started high school at St. Joes, where teachers would often notice students riding on the back of Matt's chair down the hall. Matthew's friends helped him enjoy high school to the fullest, creating life lasting memories. Matthew conquered high school and began a new journey into college, enrolling at the University of Buffalo. University of Buffalo was a bigger school with new surroundings, but to no surprise, Matthew quickly persevered and adapted to the new challenges. At UB, he continued competing in sled hockey, while he pursued a degree in Communications. Continuing his career, the day finally arrived; a day Matthew will always remember. Matthew played his very last sled hockey game and retired from competing in the sport. On this day, his team won a national championship! 13 years of sled hockey competition and winning his 3rd National Championship of his career, Matthew finally retired. After retiring, Matthew went on a plane for the first time being in a chair, and proudly received the 2015 USA Hockey Disabled Athlete of the Year Award, a tremendous accolade!

Matthew graduated from UB in September of 2015. After reflecting on his journey, Matt began to realize how powerful the support from his family and friends was in helping him successfully fight muscular dystrophy. The support inspired Matt to provide the same assistance to others fighting his disease, who may lack adequate support in the home. The summer after Matt's college graduation, Miles For Matty, Inc was formed. In the beginning stages of Miles for Matty, Inc. everyone naturally wanted to assist Matt in his fight, so Matt crossed a few things off his bucket list. He traveled to London to see his favorite soccer team play Arsenal, visited his brother at school, and went to a Buffalo Bills game. Despite the barriers presented in living with muscular dystrophy, Matthew successfully crossed these items off of his bucket list and began helping others do the same!

"Matt's goal has always been to help others and he is doing just that. The first person Miles for Matty, Inc. successfully assisted was a boy named Nate Gavin. We helped Nate meet his favorite Buffalo Sabres player, Tyler Ennis, after a game. Matt's goal is to help as many individuals with Duchenne cross items off their bucket list."

-Colleen Murray (Matthew's sister)

Matt and sister, Colleen, have teamed up with three of their friends, Vincent, Eric, and Tyler, and continue their newest journey operating Miles for Matty, Inc., which was formed in July 2015. The organization aims to positively impact the lives of individuals living with Muscular Dystrophy and more specifically, spread awareness about Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. They do so by sharing Matty's inspiring story, continuing his bucket list journey, and by helping other individuals living with Muscular Dystrophy cross items off their bucket list too. They believe in the concept that no matter what barrier one may be presented with, limitless minds, passion and persistence will allow them to help turn countless dreams into realities.

The Muscle Movement Foundation is pleased to welcome Matthew Murray and Miles for Matty, Inc. to our team. Together, they will continue to turn dreams into a reality!

The Muscle Movement Foundation is an IRS-registered 501(c)3 organization. Donations are recognized as tax exempt. To make a contribution of any size, visit www.musclemovementfoundation.org. ID #46-0554622

© Muscle Movement Foundation | www.MuscleMovementFoundation.org