PGA Tour pro reveals he has muscular dystrophy, intends to keep competing
The No. 189 player in the world is fighting an incurable disease
Morgan Hoffmann is not a household name in golf circles. He finished No. 80 in the FedEx Cup race last year and had just one top 10 finish. He is ranked No. 189 in the world. But he made a massive statement on Monday when he disclosed on The Players' Tribune that he has muscular dystrophy.
Hoffmann was diagnosed at the end of last year.
In November 2016 I was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, an incurable disease. The last few months have been the most trying of my life. I have a new reality now, and a new purpose. In my case, my muscular dystrophy is currently causing my right and left pecs to atrophy. Where the disease will attack next, I'm not sure. The characteristics of this specific type of MD (facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy) are atrophy of the chest, back, neck, arms and sometimes legs.
Each case is different, and some muscles degenerate more quickly than others. As of now the disease has progressed slowly — only the right and a minimal amount of the left pec have deteriorated since I first started noticing an issue six years ago. Doctors are searching for a cure, conducting stem cell research and experimenting with growth hormone treatments. I'm hopeful that they are on the right track.
It's a staggering new reality for Hoffmann, who will compete and try to win on the PGA Tour with a body that may or may not cooperate. Still, he noted that this isn't so much about golf anymore. There's a charity golf tournament planned and Hoffmann has a renewed sense of hope in the future because he wants to use his life to benefit future kids who are diagnosed with this disease.
The first thing I want to do is to bring attention to our way of fighting. By our I mean the team I am lucky enough to be surrounded by. Don Saladino, one of my best friends, is both my health-and-wellness coach and my mentor, and has been the driving force behind my new way of life. He trains me to be an athlete, and we treat my body as if it was a machine. Everything that goes into it must have a purpose, must provide a benefit. My diet consists of all organic food -- lots of water and vegetables, good carbs, and protein -- and no dairy, gluten or soda. My belief is that if you feed your body right it will run clean.
But I believe now that this is why I was put on this earth -- so that when a child is diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, there will be a cure; there will be people to help with mental, nutritional and physical training guidance. And especially so that no disease will ever hinder a little boy's or girl's passion for life. I am determined to help make a difference. I cannot wait to start raising money and awareness to fight this disease! Soon, I will be announcing the date of a charity golf event that I will hold at my home course, the Arcola Country Club in Paramus, New Jersey.
This is a staggering new reality for somebody who is one of the fittest players on the PGA Tour. And the outpouring from his colleagues was overwhelming. Golfer after golfer tweeted words of encouragement and support as Hoffmann takes on a new and massive challenge in his near future.
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