Words to Play by… Superfan’s Inspirational Quote Becomes Team Motto
As Bastrop native battles a rare disease, his positive outlook encourages team
ROUND ROCK, Texas— When Evan Mundine reached out to Austin Elite Rugby last season, we had no idea what an inspiration he would become for each of us individually, and as a team.
The 21 year old has been battling Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), a rare genetic mutation that affects the connective tissues supporting skin, bones, blood vessels, organs and tissues. Sadly, since his diagnosis in 2012, the disorder has led to other rare and life-threatening conditions for Evan and they continue to complicate his health. But despite the daily challenges he faces, he continues to inspire others.
Evan was born in the Austin area and has always been an avid soccer (and now rugby!) fan. He dreamed of one day playing professionally, but when he was 11, a bad leg injury during a soccer game revealed a life-threatening disease. He sought treatment at more than half a dozen hospitals across the country and has spent more than a 100 hours in the operating room. He is currently undergoing experimental treatment in San Diego, where he and is mother, Frieda, his main caretaker, currently live.
Evan was ecstatic last year when he saw that his hometown finally established a Major League team- Austin Elite Rugby. The team traveled to San Diego to play the San Diego Legions and Evan was invited to attend but his health kept him from the making the match. Nevertheless, Austin Elite Rugby presented him with his own jersey, and reminded him that he had our support. His uplifting spirit is unyielding, and quite frankly, contagious- despite the daily barrage of challenges he faces.
Evan’s positive outlook led the team to incorporate his personal motto into our team’s culture. His words can be seen embroidered on the inside collar of every AER player’s uniform and these words continue to inspire us today- “Endurance leads to Glory.”
On Saturday March 16th, Austin Elite Rugby will dedicate their match to Evan as they take on the Seattle Seawolves. The team will also make a donation to the nonprofit- National Organization of Rare Disorders (NORD)*, on his behalf to show our appreciation for serving as the ultimate example of strength.
If you would also like to donate to the cause, go to: https://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/51076/donate_page/donate-now
*NORD is a 501(c)(3) organization and is a patient advocacy organization dedicated to individuals with rare diseases and the organizations that serve them. NORD, along with its more than 280 patient organization members, is committed to the identification, treatment, and cure of rare disorders through programs of education, advocacy, research, and patient services.
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