Manalapan football's Touchdown Club is hosting a fundraiser in July to benefit one of its own stricken with a rare disease.

Marcus Salinas, a current senior who starred as the Braves' running back this past season, was diagnosed in April with Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis, a rare neurological autoimmune disease where a person's antibodies attack NMDA receptors in the brain. NMDA receptors control a person's memory and motor functions.

Manalapan senior running back Marcus Salinas (23). (Photo by Mark Brown/B51 Photography.)

The Braves Touchdown Club will host "Walk With Marcus" on Saturday July 30 at the Manalapan Rec Center with proceeds going to the Salinas Family to help with medical expenses. Salinas is currently being treated at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, one of the top pediatric institutes in the country.

Participants can register in advance at the Manalapan Touchdown Club website. Registration also begins at 8 a.m the day of the benefit with the run/walk scheduled for a 9:30 a.m. start.

Salinas ran for 1,325 yards and 11 touchdowns this past season to help the Braves finish 6-5 and reach the semifinals of the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group V playoffs.

Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis is a rare and serious life-threatening disease, but also one that has a high probability of recovery with treatment, according to The Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis Foundation. Salinas and his family and friends can take inspiration from former NFL defensive lineman Amobi Okoye, who was diagnosed with Anti-NDMA Receptor Encephalitis in March 2013. Okoye made a full recovery and was cleared to play football gain in August 2014.


Football editor Bob Badders can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights.