Northwestern Chapter forced to call an audible then smashes annual Lift for Life fundraising goal


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Less than 24 hours before the annual Northwestern Chapter Lift For Life was about to hit the practice field, the student-athlete led Wildcat Chapter leaders were forced to call an audible.

A Chicago area weather forecast that featured heat indexes well above 100 degrees last week forced the Wildcats to move their event from the outdoor practice field in the afternoon to inside the weight room that morning.

Despite the last-minute change, the Northwestern Chapter still got after it during the workout to support its mission of using college football as a platform to inspire the rare disease community with hope through the power of sport.

The highlight of the Wildcats’ Lift For Life was a staggering 58 players posting a personal best on the 225-pound bench press station.

Lift For Life is the signature fundraising event for the Uplifting Athletes nationwide network of college football student-athlete led chapters.

Northwestern shattered its fundraising goal of $7,500 and raised nearly $8,600. Proceeds from the Northwestern Chapter of Uplifting Athletes annual Lift For Life supports rare disease research and patient focused programs.

The challenges faced by the rare disease community are bigger than any one individual, team or organization can tackle alone. The grassroots effort of the Northwestern Chapter, along with a nationwide network of teams, is uniquely positioned to educate and engage the local community and shine a spotlight on rare diseases.

Northwestern started tackling rare diseases in 2011 when it joined Uplifting Athletes. The student-athlete led Northwestern Chapter has served the rare disease community on two fronts.

When the Northwestern Chapter formed in 2011, the Wildcats were inspired by former Northwestern and Notre Dame coach Ara Parseghian’s support of the rare disease Niemann-Pick Type C. More recently, the leaders of the chapter chose to use a personal relationship and added ALS as part of the motivation to support the rare disease community through Uplifting Athletes.

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