Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Atlanta Falcons running back Michael Turner mixes the batter while baking some red velvet cupcakes beside Executive Chef Eugene Oden during a charity event to raise money and awareness for Crohns disease at Gimme Some Suga at Suwanee's Town Center on Tuesday. Turner is passionate about raising the awareness for Crohn's disease because his brothers Kevin and Keith, both 28 years-old, were diagnosed about 10 years ago.
Cooking cupcakes with Michael Turner
Atlanta Falcons running back Michael Turner baked cupcakes at Gimme Some Suga in Suwanee to help raise money and awareness for Crohn's disease.
SUWANEE -- Corbin Hood doesn't typically get up before 10 a.m. in the summer, but he made an exception to see Michael Turner.
Hood, 9, a Suwanee resident, set his alarm clock to wake up early on Tuesday to see Turner, the Atlanta Falcons' running back, at Gimme Some Suga in Suwanee's Town Center. Turner visited the bakery to raise money and awareness for those who battle Crohn's disease. Turner has twin brothers who have been diagnosed with the disease.
Hood, who wore a No. 33 Turner jersey, posed for pictures with Turner and told him his family visits training camp often. Turner is Hood's favorite Falcon.
"He works harder than all the other ones," Hood said.
Turner visited Gimme Some Suga because the owner, Tamika Tanner, is the fiance of Turner's former teammate, defensive end Chauncey Davis, who now plays for the Chicago Bears. Davis and Turner are neighbors in The River Club subdivision in Suwanee.
Tanner said half of the store's sales from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday would be donated to Turner's foundation, which supports those who live with Crohn's disease.
"People love to see these athletes do normal stuff, and connect with them, form a relationship," Tanner said.
Turner said he puts on these kinds of community events because a lot of people aren't aware of the symptoms related to Crohn's disease, a chronic inflammatory disease of the intestines. Turner admitted that he wasn't even aware until his brothers, Kevin and Keith, who are 28, were diagnosed about 10 years ago.
"To catch it before it's too late," Turner said. "It's not 100 percent curable, but (can) definitely calm down a little bit."
Turner said awareness is important, because the symptoms may not be obvious in the beginning.
"You don't know until you've got it," he said. "It's not something you notice right away, you (might) think it's a stomach virus. They might be embarrassed to go to the doctor. It's not always painful, it's just something you'll have to deal with."
As for the cupcakes, Turner said Davis used to bring them to the locker room on Fridays during the season. His favorite is red velvet, which happens to be the best seller at Gimme Some Suga, selling at a rate of three times more than any other flavor.
"You've got to be one of the first to get your favorite," said Turner, who laughed when he admitted that linemen were among the first in line. "I've tasted just about every flavor."