You could feel the energy in the weight room as the Colgate Chapter prepared for its annual Lift For Life recently. It was max-out day on the bench press and the Raiders were focused on the task at hand.
Just before the strength staff was about to start testing the team, rare disease patient Colin Hayward and his family walked through the door.
Needless to say the energy in the room went through the roof.
Hayward is a 9-year-old who battles ependymoma, a rare form of brain cancer, and has enjoyed a three-year relationship with the Colgate Raiders football program.
“It’s a miracle and blessing just to be here,” said Colin’s father Ian Hayward. “Three months ago Colin was in hospice and we were preparing for the worst. He continues to fight, though, every single day through his relapses and surgeries.”
Hayward continues to be a source of inspiration for the Colgate Chapter in support of its mission of using college football as a platform to inspire the rare disease community with hope through the power of sport.
Lift For Life is the signature fundraising event for the Uplifting Athletes nationwide network of college football student-athlete led chapters.
The Colgate Chapter exceeded its fundraising goal of $5,000 and raised more than $8,500 from its unique pledge based Lift For Life where donations were based on pounds gained by each player on the bench press during the summer.
Proceeds from the Colgate Chapter of Uplifting Athletes annual Lift For Life supports rare disease research and patient focused programs.
Like Colin Hayward and his family, 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 Colgate 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.
The Colgate Chapter started tackling rare diseases in 2008 when it joined Uplifting Athletes and continues to bring the vision of Uplifting Athletes to life; which is to empower people to take action against rare diseases and inspires the medical community to find cures.