Tatnall Football | Sack Muscle Disease

Tatnall Football Team Joins MMF; Playing with a Purpose to Sack Muscle Disease!

TATNALL FOOTBALL TEAM JOINS FELLOW HORNET AND MMF ADVOCATE JUSTIN PERILLO

WILMINGTON, DE - Head Football Coach Jody Russell and the Tatnall School Football Team has joined the Muscle Movement Foundation (MMF) in the fight against muscle damaging disease. The Hornets are playing with a purpose to "Sack Muscle Disease" this fall! Head Coach Jody Russell and team were inspired to join Team Muscle Up - the MMF's team made of athletes that dedicate their game to individuals affected by muscle disease - after learning of Tatnall Football Alumnus, Justin Perillo's involvement with the MMF. Last football season Justin Perillo joined the MMF as an official Team Muscle Up - MMF Advocate. Since, he has served on patient home visits and continues to raise awareness for "Muscle Champions" across the country.

Justin Perillo surprised Marci Williamson at a patient home visit last season. Marci was just weeks out of the hospital after recovering from a Myasthenia Gravis (MG) Crisis. A myasthenia gravis crisis is when one's diaphragm muscles become too weak for the patient to breathe on their own. Justin delivered a signed Green Bay Packers shirt to Marci to lift her spirits. Marci wears it every football season!

Justin Perillo surprised Marci Williamson at a patient home visit last season. Marci was just weeks out of the hospital after recovering from a Myasthenia Gravis (MG) Crisis. A myasthenia gravis crisis is when one's diaphragm muscles become too weak for the patient to breathe on their own. Justin delivered a signed Green Bay Packers shirt to Marci to lift her spirits. Marci wears it every football season!

Coach Jody Russell and coaches invited MMF Founder, Rob DeMasi, to share the MMF-message with his team. DeMasi delivered the MMF-message, stressing the importance of opportunity. He spoke about the opportunity he was privileged with; having the ability to move his muscles to participate in athletics for over fourteen years. DeMasi touched on playing football with Justin Perillo at Saint John the Beloved and being coached by phenomenal coaches, such as, Coach Jody Russell during youth football camps. Embracing his opportunity set the foundation for DeMasi to choose his high school and have a memorable career; despite battling an undiagnosed form of muscle disease from freshman to senior year at Saint Mark's High School. After being properly diagnosed during his senior year with myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune form of muscle disease, DeMasi saw an opportunity to turn his own personal misfortune into a platform to help individuals living with similar diseases. DeMasi inspired the players to embrace life.

"Embrace this opportunity! Embrace the opportunity of being apart of an accredited high school community, learning from one of the best coaching staffs in the state, having a family that loves you, and most importantly, having a clean slate of health - having the ability to move your muscles at will, to compete in a sport you love!"

After the MMF-message was delivered, each player and coach was excited to begin the 2016 season; dedicating their game to their "Muscle Champion"! Coach Russell and the Hornets are excited to welcome their 2016 "Muscle Champion" and honorary captain, Eddie Hazeldine! Eddie is a fourteen year old boy who is living and refusing to lose to Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). DMD is one of nine forms of muscular dystrophy, which causes muscle degeneration and weakness throughout the body. It is 100% fatal. Unfortunately, the effects of the disease have progressed and Eddie has recently lost his ability to walk. He is currently transferring to a power wheelchair to maintain physical autonomy. In efforts to improve his quality of life, the Muscle Movement Foundation has provided Eddie with a wheelchair accessible automobile. The MMF hopes to provide Eddie with a wheelchair accessible ramp, so Eddie can safely maneuver from his home to his vehicle and back. Despite his circumstances, Eddie continues to wake up each day with a smile on his face and a heart full of love. He has joined numerous teams across the state, in efforts to represent for his fellow "Muscle Champions" - over one million fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters affected by muscle disease across the country. He is excited to meet the Tatnall community this season!

The Hornets will welcome Eddie and family at their first home game this Saturday, September 24th at 12:00 p.m, against Archmere Academy. Coach Russell and the Hornets will welcome Eddie as their Muscle Champion and honorary captain at every home game this season!

Special thanks to Head Coach Jody Russell and former Tatnall football star, Justin Perillo, for taking initiative in joining the Muscle Movement Foundation and the fight against muscle damaging disease!