September was Muscular Dystrophy Awareness Month, and Shepherd University’s Department of Athletics was one of many organizations around the world helping to raise awareness of the disease by working with two local young people who have muscular dystrophy.
Jason Bednarski of Team IMPACT served as an honorary team captain for the Shepherd University football team when the Rams hosted West Virginia State September 23 at Ram Stadium. Bednarski signed with the Rams at Football Media Day. He is a member of Team IMPACT, a nonprofit group that seeks to improve the quality of life for children with life-threatening or chronic illness. Bednarski, a 12-year-old from Martinsburg, suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Another Team IMPACT member for the Rams is Angelina Seal, a 12-year-old from Hedgesville, who signed with the Shepherd volleyball team in August. Angelina was born with lumbo sacral agenesis, which causes failure of the lower spine to develop.
“We have really enjoyed our relationship with Jason and Angelina of Team IMPACT,” said Vice President for Athletics Chauncey Winbush. “This is a great opportunity for our student-athletes to make a positive impact in these young people’s lives. We really look forward to the incredible impact that Jason and Angelina will have on our student-athletes as well.”
Muscular dystrophy is a group of diseases that cause progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are more than 30 different kinds of muscular dystrophy. The most common form in children is Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which affects only males.