Morgan Hoffmann knew something was wrong.
Knew something wasn’t right with his body but didn’t know what.
It took what seemed like forever for him to finally get the shattering news — it was Muscular Dystrophy.
Then came the life-shattering, life-changing four words from the doctor who diagnosed him:
“There is no cure.”
“Before I tell you what this will mean for me going forward, I have to tell you where I’m coming from — for myself as much as anything. To be honest, my diagnosis still hasn’t really sunk in yet. Maybe this is just a bad dream. Maybe my pec muscles will just grow back. Those were some of my first thoughts.
I know that I must fully accept this challenge, but doing that is so hard. The reasons why I know I’ll be able to persevere — to conquer the future that’s in front of me — are my childhood, my best friends, my family, my mentors and my dreams.”
So began Hoffmann as he penned his thoughts and story for The Players Tribune.
This is a tough one to talk about, tough to write about.
It reminds us how life is to be cherished and how a healthy body can be taken for granted.
Now Hoffmann takes nothing for granted, but has embraced his circumstances with an amazing attitude.
He spoke of his game plan:
“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.”
The important thing to know is that Hoffmann is not feeling sorry for himself. No “why me?” from the kid from New Jersey who has realized his childhood dream and made it to the PGA Tour.
He had his best season in 2017 despite the deterioration of his right pectoral muscle. He earned just north of $1,278,000 and made it into the FedEx Cup playoffs for the first time. He sniffed victory at the Honda Classic but finished second last season.
A season like that might be considered a breakthrough for a 28-year-old player who has worked his way into that top 100 club on the PGA Tour.
Instead, must now compete against a disease that slowly but surely takes its toll on the human body.
Hoffmann has found new resolve, and something he now considers much bigger than a professional golf career.
He put it into word that will echo with anyone who reads them:
“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.
Even though the type of muscular dystrophy that I have doesn’t pose an immediate threat to my life, there is a good chance that it will shorten it. I don’t know when that will happen, because there’s no way to gauge the speed at which the disease will spread.
But please know this: This disease won’t keep me from achieving my dream of winning on the PGA Tour — and it shouldn’t keep anyone else from chasing their dreams either.”
Morgan Hoffmann is a young man everyone can pull for, admire and pray for.
As he reminds us, there are higher callings, noble causes to embrace.
He is someone we can all look up to, someone we can admire, someone who shows us what real courage looks like.