A few weeks ago I was able to discuss Huddle Up for Life with its founder, Phillip Ebarb. You may have heard of this charity which was started to honor the life of Dak Prescott’s mother, Peggy Prescott.
Phillip is Peggy’s brother, and Dak’s uncle. Professionally he is a musician, and he started this foundation as a way to help sick family members of college athletes be able to attend their games. As you may remember, Peggy Prescott died of cancer in November of 2013.
Mr. Ebarb explained to me that in the fall of 2013, when Ms. Prescott was in her final days, the only time she was able to see Dak was when she came to Mississippi State football games. So during the last few months of her life, that was the only time she had with her son, and the only time Dak had with her.
Athletic departments and schools are not allowed to give a student-athlete’s families any money to help them attend games due to NCAA rules. When families fall on hard times, such as spending thousands of dollars for medical treatments to battle cancer, scraping up the funds to travel can be extremely difficult.
If you live more than a couple of hours from Starkville, you know all about the gas, meals and hotel costs that can add up really quickly. Now imagine not having any disposable income while having a son or daughter playing for MSU (or any other school) and longing to see them play. Then add in the fact that you are battling a disease that could potentially take your life and you want to see your child while you still have time on this earth.
That’s what Huddle Up for Life is all about. It’s about helping those family members who can’t afford to attend games due to their medical expenses by ensuring they have funds to travel to see their child.
I had a heavy heart when talking to Mr. Ebarb and imagining this scenario. And I have one right now. It’s hard enough to battle illness, and adding in the inability to see your child play college athletics – or just to see them – is even more heart-breaking. But you know it happens all the time….Dak’s situation just shed light on it. And that’s what Huddle Up for Life is setting out to fix.
Ms. Prescott was a strong-willed person who never asked for help, but friends and family scrapped up the money as often as they could so she could see Dak play in her last days. Huddle Up for Life strives to see that kind of generosity and more used to help families who are in this difficult situation.