Uplifting Athletes announces Horizon Therapeutics plc as Exclusive Sponsor to help Tackle Rare Disease at the National Football League (NFL) Scouting Combine

NFL Draft prospects participating in Reps For Rare Diseases will help raise funds for research and awareness programs

Horizon will match pledged donations through the company’s #RAREis Program

DUBLIN and PHILADELPHIA — Feb. 11, 2020 — Horizon Therapeutics plc (Nasdaq: HZNP) and Uplifting Athletes today announced a new partnership for the 2020 Reps for Rare Diseases campaign, which offers an opportunity for NFL Draft prospects to give back and support the rare disease community. Participants who team up with Uplifting Athletes will dedicate their performance in one event – bench press, vertical jump or broad jump – at the NFL Scouting Combine or their school’s official pro day, to raising funds for rare disease research and awareness initiatives. 

Donations can be made at each athlete’s individual Pledge It page and benefit Uplifting Athletes, an organization who inspires and develops champions for rare diseases through sport. Horizon will match donations up to $35,000 through its #RAREis program, which is dedicated to providing individuals living with rare disease and families access to resources that connect, inform and educate as they navigate their daily lives. 

“As a rare disease patient and an athlete, sports have played an integral role in raising awareness for rare diseases,” said Rob Long, executive director, Uplifting Athletes. “Horizon’s support enables us to further our mission by engaging more athletes to have a greater impact on the rare disease community this NFL Draft season. It gives hope to the 25 to 30 million Americans impacted by rare disease.” 

There are more than 7,000 known rare diseases and less than five percent have U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved treatment options. Reps for Rare Diseases brings together the rare disease and athletic community to increase awareness and to ultimately raise funds that will further research for new medicines to address the high unmet needs in rare disease. 

“As a company that is deeply committed to the rare disease community, we look to partner on creative campaigns that engage more people in understanding rare diseases and further research efforts,” said Matt Flesch, vice president, communications and patient advocacy, Horizon. “This partnership with Uplifting Athletes compliments our #RAREis program, enabling us to work together to call attention to and support the many faces, voices and experiences of the rare disease community among a broader audience.” 

Uplifting Athletes’ Reps for Rare Diseases raised more than $45,000 in 2019, with 56 participants from 21 Division I football programs. Already, more than 50 athletes have joined the 2020 campaign. 

Fans and the community can pledge their support to an athlete with a specific dollar amount for every rep completed or inch jumped in the selected activity. Each supporter’s total contribution is determined by the number of reps completed or inches jumped in the player’s combine performance or official pro day workout. All funds raised will support Uplifting Athletes’ mission to inspire the rare disease community with hope through the power of sport and fund research, awareness and leadership programs. 

To learn more about the Reps for Rare Diseases program and the participating athletes, visit the Uplifting Athletes website, www.UpliftingAthletes.org. 

About Uplifting Athletes

Founded in 2007, Uplifting Athletes fulfills its mission to inspire the Rare Disease Community with hope through the power of sport with a powerful network of over 20 college football student-athlete led chapters, Uplifting Ambassadors and Team UA participants. Since its inception, Uplifting Athletes has raised more than $5 million to support the mission of Uplifting Athletes and its charitable programs: Rare Disease Awareness, Rare Disease Research, Uplifting Experiences and Uplifting Leaders. 

About #RAREis

In February of 2017, Horizon launched the #RAREis program aimed at elevating the voices, faces and experiences of people living with rare diseases, as well as highlight programs and resources for the rare disease community. The program is anchored by an Instagram page and website that showcases photos and stories of people touched by rare disease and captures elements of their patient, caregiver or advocate experience. To learn more, visit the #RAREis Instagram page and visit the website at www.RAREisCommunity.com. 

About Horizon

Horizon is focused on researching, developing and commercializing medicines that address critical needs for people impacted by rare and rheumatic diseases. Our pipeline is purposeful: we apply scientific expertise and courage to bring clinically meaningful therapies to patients. We believe science and compassion must work together to transform lives. For more information on how we go to incredible lengths to impact lives, please visit www.horizontherapeutics.com, follow us @HorizonNews on Twitter, like us on Facebook or explore career opportunities on LinkedIn


U.S. Media Contact:

Michelle Rivas

Manager, Rare Disease Communications and Social Media


Ireland Media Contact:

Gordon MRM

Ray Gordon


Uplifting Athletes:

Brett Brackett


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