SCOTTSDALE, AZ – Scranton/WilkesBarre RailRiders outfielder Mason Williams is helping to raise awareness of Choroideremia (CHM), a rare inherited disorder that causes progressive vision loss, and ultimately complete blindness. Williams’ efforts are in support of his friend, Mark DeVoe, a 12-year-old from Washington, N.J., who is currently battling the retinal disease.
Williams, in partnership with Athletes Brand, co-designed a t-shirt in Yankees-themed colors that is being sold to raise proceeds and awareness for the Choroideremia Research Foundation. The campaign will also have support from “Angels for Mark”, a team started by DeVoe’s parents to help show support for their son’s ongoing vision battle.
DeVoe frequently attends professional baseball games in the surrounding New Jersey area – which is how he met Williams – and continues to play baseball himself, despite noticeable peripheral vision loss. Come nighttime, DeVoe regularly makes use of a walking cane to support himself. Childhood night blindness is one of the earliest effects of CHM. There is currently no known cure for choroideremia, though FDA clinical trials have begun.
“For people out there that have choroideremia, you’re not alone in this. We’re here, we’re trying to push forward and find out new things about CHM every day. We’re trying to build and educate others to let (them) know they’re not alone in this,” Williams said.
Beginning today, the new shirt will be available for two weeks and can be ordered online via AthletesBrand.com. The tri-blend “Be You” shirt will be available in Men’s and Youth T-shirt options, as well as in a Women’s tank top option. In addition to purchasing a shirt, fans and supporters can show their support for Williams’ efforts by using the hashtag #BeYOU on social media – a simple phrase that inspired the shirt design, and one that Williams hopes reminds others to simply be themselves.
The limited-edition shirt can be purchased from Athletes Brand until Monday, August 7. Through this campaign, Athletes Brand hopes to put the work in front of 20 million during the two-week sale. For more information about Mason’s campaign, visit AthletesBrand.com.
About Mason Williams
Mason is currently in his eighth season with the New York Yankees organization, He has had stints at the MLB level the last three seasons. Mason is from Pawtucket, Rhode Island and was selected by the New York Yankees in the 4th round of the 2010 MLB Draft straight out of high school.
About Athletes Brand
Athletes Brand is an athlete-run fashion brand that crafts clothing for athletes’ everyday needs away from their sport. Its mission is to help athletes use their power of influence to make a difference in the world through sports, fashion, art, and philanthropy. Visit AthletesBrand.com and follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@AthletesBrand).
About the Choroideremia Research Foundation
The Choroideremia Research Foundation Inc. is an international, 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds to find a treatment or cure for choroideremia, a rare inherited retinal degenerative disease that causes blindness. Their top priority is to find a cure or treatment for CHM. To donate, or for more information, please visit http://curechm.org/ or call (800) 210-0233. You can also follow the CRF on Twitter and Facebook (@CureCHM).
About Angels for Mark
Angels for Mark is a team of supporters that aid in the effort to raise money for CHM research. Started by Mark’s parents, Angels for Mark has put on concerts, car shows and more to aid the efforts of the Choroideremia Research Foundation, which sees 94% of all funds raised going to research initiatives. Visit AngelsForMark.org and follow them for updates on Mark’s health on both Facebook and Twitter.