Baylor defensive lineman Andrew Billings is one of the strongest players in all of college football. Not surprising considering he was the most prolific powerlifter in Texas during his senior year at Waco High School. Thankful for his own muscular build, Billings has befriended a Brook Avenue Elementary student whose muscles are slowly weakening.
Charles Eubank is a fifth-grader with muscular dystrophy. Although still ambulatory, the jerky motions created when Charles walks sometimes leads to teasing and bullying from classmates. Billings said was surprised and disturbed when he first heard about Charles being teased, but now understands how that could occur.
"Kids simply need more information about MD and what it does to the body," said Billings. "The more they know about what Charles is going through, the more understanding and empathetic they'll become."
A call from his former high school football coach is what spurred Billings to start visiting Charles. Marty Herbst routinely keeps in contact with former Lions now playing college ball. Billings was the first player his thought about after hearing about Charles' plight.
Billings recently spoke to and answered questions from all fifth-graders at Brook Avenue during their lunch break. He talked about muscular dystrophy and stressed the importance of school being a bully-free zone. All the while, Charles was right there standing beside his newfound friend wearing a huge smile.