Chapter Update: Honoring FBS senior chapter leaders and three teams post Week 14 victories


As the 2020 college football season winds down, Uplifting Athletes would like to honor the contribution of nine veteran FBS chapter leaders in service to the Rare Disease Community.

Thank you to Nolan Cooney of Syracuse, Thomas Ruocchio and Dylan Autenrieth of NC State, Michael Marchese of Illinois, Will Spiers of Clemson, Jack DeFoor of Georgia Tech, Joe Spivak of Northwestern, Brock Wright of Notre Dame and Jake Funk of Maryland for inspiring the Rare Disease Community with hope.

Best wishes to each of you in the next step of your journey. You will always be a part of the Uplifting Athletes family.


Northwestern: For the sixth consecutive year, the Wildcats claimed the Land of Lincoln Trophy over rival and fellow chapter school Illinois. Northwestern amassed more than 400 yards on the ground for the first time since 2003. Running backs Evan Hull and Cam Porter combined for 291 of those yards and three touchdowns. Northwestern Chapter leader, defensive lineman Joe Spivak, had three tackles. Illinois Chapter leader, linebacker Michael Marchese, had three solo tackles and a pass break-up. The Wildcats are champions of the Big Ten West for the second time in three years and will play Ohio State Saturday in the Big Ten Championship game.

Penn State: A monster second half propelled the Nittany Lions past Michigan State for their third win in a row. Penn State outscored the Spartans 29-3 in the second half on Senior Day. Quarterback Sean Clifford threw a pair of second-half touchdown passes to Parker Washington, and Jahan Dotson returned a punt 81 yards for a score. Dotson became the third Big Ten player since 2000 to record 100 receiving yards and return a punt for a touchdown in the same game, joining Michigan’s Steve Breaston (2006) and Wisconsin’s Brandon Williams (2005). Clifford, former Penn State Chapter President, finished with 280 total yards (232 passing, 48 rushing) and accounted for three touchdowns.

Florida State: Quarterback Jordan Travis sparked a ground game that churned out more than 300 yards and accounted for six touchdowns in the victory over Duke. The redshirt sophomore rushed for 90 yards, setting FSU’s single-season record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 559 – surpassing the 504 by Charlie Ward in 1992. Florida State Chapter President, linebacker DeCalon Brooks, finished with three tackles.

Round-Up: The final play of the key Western Michigan game at Ball State saw the Broncos score an apparent game winning touchdown after a wild series of laterals only to see an illegal forward pass negate the play. The Broncos outgained the Cardinals 491-352 and led by 14 heading into the fourth quarter. … Maryland Chapter leader, running back Jake Funk, had 180 yards on only 17 carries with a touchdown before leaving the game with an injury in an overtime setback to Rutgers. It was the first time in his career where Funk scored a touchdown and the Terrapins didn’t claim victory. … The Georgia Tech defense kept the Yellow Jackets in the game against Pitt, limiting the Panthers to only one touchdown in six trips inside the red zone. Pitt’s ground game allowed the Panthers to keep the ball away from the Tech offense in the victory, by running up more than 300 rushing yards and nearly 40 minutes in time of possession. … Baylor took the field against Top 25 ranked Oklahoma State shorthanded because of COVID-19. The Bears were missing 47 players, coaches and support staff in the loss to the Cowboys.

Each week during the college football season we will feature a player who is an officer for an Uplifting Athletes Chapter. This week we feature Stony Brook offensive lineman and Chapter Vice President Kyle Nunez.

Chapter Update: Illinois rallies to post first win and five other chapter schools record Week 10 victories


Led by redshirt freshman quarterback Isaiah Williams, Illinois twice rallied from 10 points down to win its first game of the season on the road at Rutgers.

Williams established a single-game rushing record with 192 yards to surpass the 187 yards AJ Bush Jr. totaled in 2018 against Nebraska. Fighting Illini kicker James McCourt’s third field goal of the day, a 47 yarder, with three seconds left was the difference.

In addition to Williams’ big game on the ground, running back Chase Brown added 131 yards on 17 carries. Williams and Brown became only the second quarterback-running back duo to each eclipse 130-plus yards on the ground in the same game. The other combo, QB Juice Williams and RB Rashard Mendenhall, did it in 2007. Illinois Chapter President, offensive lineman Alex Palczewski, made his 40th consecutive start, and was part of a group up front that helped the Illini pound out 338 yards on the ground.

Western Michigan: In the final minute against Toledo at home all the Broncos did was score two touchdowns, recover an onside kick and rally from 10 points down for an improbable MAC victory. The show stopper was a fake-spike, nine-yard touchdown pass from Kaleb Eleby to Jaylen Hall with 17 seconds remaining to cap the drama-laced come-from-behind victory where the Broncos trailed by 10 points on three separate occasions. Eleby finished with five total touchdowns and WR-KR D’Wayne Eskridge had 231 all-purpose yards. Western Michigan Chapter Vice President, safety Jake Moretl, had one solo tackle for the Broncos.

Northwestern: The Wildcats used a rock-solid effort defensively to hold off Purdue on the road for its fourth win in as many games. The last time Northwestern was 4-0 in the Big Ten was 1996 when current head coach Pat Fitzgerald was a linebacker for the Wildcats. Neither team eclipsed 300 total yards in this defensive battle. Northwestern’s run defense was spectacular, limiting the Boilermakers to only two yards on 17 carries. Northwestern Chapter Vice President, defensive lineman Joe Spivak, started at defensive tackle.

NC State: Sparked by career outings from quarterback Bailey Hockman and wide receiver Thayer Thomas, the Wolfpack posted a wire-to-wire victory over fellow chapter school Florida State. Thomas had 11 grabs for 135 yards and a couple scores and Hockman threw for 265 yards and three touchdowns. Florida State Chapter President, linebacker DeCalon Brooks, had one tackle for the Seminoles and Vice President, wide receiver Keyshawn Helton, had four catches.

Notre Dame: For the first time since 1996 the No. 2 ranked Fighting Irish went over the 45 points in back-to-back games to run the nation’s longest FBS winning streak to 14 straight. Quarterback Ian Book threw for 283 yards and three scores and also led the Irish in rushing with 85 yards on 10 carries with a touchdown. Notre Dame Chapter President, linebacker Drew White, finished second for the Irish in tackles with seven and also had a tackle for a loss. 

Kent State: For the first time since 1988, the Golden Flashes started a season 2-0 after overwhelming Bowling Green behind a career-high four touchdown passes from quarterback Dustin Crum. Kent State posted 672 yards of total offense and a staggering 14-for-22 (64 percent) on third and fourth down conversions. Kent State Chapter President, wide receiver Isaac Vance, had four catches for 48 yards.

Round-Up: Penn State rallied from a 21-point halftime deficit on the road at Nebraska to get within a touchdown, but the Cornhuskers defense came up with a pair of fourth-down stops in the red zone in the waning minutes to hold off the Nittany Lions. Tight end Pat Freiermuth had a career-best 113 receiving yards on seven catches. … Baylor could not hold a 12-point lead heading into the fourth quarter and fell to Texas Tech by a point. All five of the Bears’ losses this season are by 10 or fewer points including one in double overtime. Linebacker Jalen Pitre had a pick-six for the second consecutive game. It was the first time since 2016 that Baylor has had two interception returns for a touchdown in the same season, and the first time a BU player has had two interceptions returned for a touchdown in a season by the same player since Eddie Lackey in 2012.

Each week during the college football season we will feature a player who is an officer for an Uplifting Athletes Chapter. This week we feature Lehigh tight end and Chapter Vice President Alex Snyder.

Chapter Update: Notre Dame claims a thriller over No. 1 Clemson in double OT and four other chapter schools notch Week 9 victories


For the ninth time in program history Notre Dame knocked off the No. 1 team in the country with a thrilling double overtime victory over fellow chapter school Clemson. Notre Dame extended its active win streak to 13 games, the most of any FBS school, and ended Clemson’s 36-game regular-season winning streak.

Running back Kyren Williams paced Notre Dame with 140 yards on the ground and three touchdowns including both Fighting Irish scores in overtime. Linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah returned a Clemson fumble 23 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter for the first touchdown this season by the Notre Dame defense.

Fighting Irish kicker Jonathan Doerer set a Notre Dame program record, accounting for 18 kicking points including four field goals. Clemson freshman quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei threw for 439 yards, the third-most yards in school history and the most ever by a freshman surpassing Deshaun Watson’s 435 against North Carolina in 2014. His total was also the most passing yards ever by an opposing quarterback against Notre Dame, surpassing the 425 yards by USC’s Carson Palmer in 2002.

Notre Dame Chapter President, linebacker Drew White, tied for the team lead in tackles with nine and also had a tackle for a loss. 

Maryland: The Terrapins put up the most points ever in their 44-game history with Penn State by scoring 35 to post Maryland’s first victory over the Nittany Lions since 2014. Terps Sophomore quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa threw for 282 yards and three touchdowns after throwing for nearly 400 a week ago. Tagovailoa posted the most passing yards by a quarterback (676) in back-to-back wins since Scott Milanovich threw for 692 yards in back-to-back games in 1994. Maryland Chapter President, running back Jake Funk, led the Terrapins with 80 rushing yards and scored on a 38-yard run early in the second quarter. Former Penn State Chapter President, quarterback Sean Clifford, established a program record with 57 pass attempts and recorded the third 300-yard game of his career. Penn State wide receiver Jahan Dotson is the first player to have a touchdown catch in each of his first three games since Allen Robinson in 2012, and Dotson’s five touchdowns in the first three games of the season equals the Penn State record set by Joe Jurevicius in 1997.

Northwestern: For the third game in a row the Wildcats defense kept the opposition off the scoreboard in the second half in a win over Nebraska. Senior linebacker Paddy Fisher, Blake Gallagher and Chris Bergin all had double-digit tackles for the second game in a row. Northwestern is 3-0 for the first time since 2015 and the last time it started with three straight Big Ten wins was 2000. Northwestern Chapter Vice President, defensive tackle Joe Spivak, made his second consecutive start and registered one tackle. Wildcats redshirt freshman safety Brandon Joseph, S, Northwestern: The redshirt freshman notched his third interception of the season in the second quarter against Nebraska to become the first Big Ten player since 2016 to record three interceptions through three games and became the first Wildcats freshman with picks in back-to-back games since 2003.

Western Michigan: The Broncos rolled up 50-plus points in their season opener on the road behind 262 passing yards and a career-best three touchdown passes from quarterback Kaleb Eleby. Western Michigan Chapter Vice President, junior safety Jake Moertl, had a pair of tackles for the Broncos.

Kent State: The Golden Flashes used a game-winning touchdown pass from Dustin Crum to Mark Williams with 7:31 left to post a victory in their season opener. Kent State’s win was its fifth in a row dating back to last season and marks the longest winning streak since 2012. Kent State Chapter President, wide receiver Isaac Vance, had three catches for 19 yards.

Round-Up: NC State took a 10-point lead into the fourth quarter but couldn’t hold off No. 11 Miami at home. Wolfpack sophomore Zonovan Knight tied the school record for the longest play in school history with a 100-yard kickoff return late in the third quarter.  Knight joined four others in the record book. … Illinois fell to 0-3 despite a career-best 63-yard touchdown run by RB Mike Epstein. … Baylor used three first-half interceptions to surge in front of No. 17 ranked Iowa State 21-10 at intermission, but couldn’t hold on, surrendering 28 unanswered points to the Cyclones in a back-and-forth affair that came down to the wire. … Syracuse played one of its best defensive games of the season in a tight game with Boston College at home. … Florida State started fast with a pair of first-quarter touchdowns but couldn’t sustain that early momentum against Pittsburgh. Florida State Chapter Vice President, wide receiver Keyshawn Helton, had three catches for the Seminoles.

Each week during the college football season we will feature a player who is an officer for an Uplifting Athletes Chapter. This week we feature Syracuse long snapper and Chapter President Aaron Bolinsky.

Chapter Update: Northwestern opens season with a bang and two other teams pick up Week 7 victories


Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald earned his 100th victory as the Wildcats’ skipper behind a balanced offense led by Indiana transfer Peyton Ramsey and a defense that surrendered only a first-quarter field goal to fellow chapter school Maryland.

The 40-point margin of victory is the ‘Cats’ largest against a Big Ten opponent since 1970 when Northwestern beat Illinois 48-0. Ramsey accounted for 259 total yards (212 passing, 47 rushing) and two touchdowns. He completed 23 passes, the most completions by a Northwestern quarterback in his first start since Gavin Hoffman in 1999.

Maryland Chapter leader, running back Jake Funk, led the Terrapins with 35 rushing yards on six carries and added nine more yards receiving on a pair of receptions. Northwestern Chapter Vice President, defensive lineman Joe Spivak, finished with one tackle on defense and also lined up on offense at fullback on the goal line.

Notre Dame: For the first time since 2012 the No. 3 ranked Fighting Irish held back-to-back opponents to fewer than 10 points with a road victory at Pittsburgh. Quarterback Ian Book finished with 312 yards passing and a pair of touchdowns, while the Irish defense limited the Panthers to a first-quarter field goal and only 162 yards of total offense. With a three-yard run early in the second quarter, Book became just the second quarterback in Notre Dame history to eclipse the 8,000 total offensive yards plateau in his career – joining Brady Quinn ‘07 (11,944). Notre Dame Chapter President, linebacker Drew White, finished with two tackles and was in on a tackle for a loss as well.

Clemson: The top-ranked Tigers were in a tight spot with fellow chapter school Syracuse at home before Clemson’s defense took control with a momentum-swinging strip-sack in the third quarter that was returned for a touchdown by Andrew Booth, Jr. Clemson Chapter President, punter Will Spiers, not only celebrated his 23rd birthday on game day but averaged 53.6 yards on five punts, including four of 50 yards or more. It was his third straight game with a punting average of 50.0 yards or more, a career-long streak. He tied his career long with a 64-yard bomb in the first quarter. Spiers also converted a fourth-and-3 on a fake punt with a six-yard rush in the second quarter. It was his third career first down on a fake punt but his first via a rush. Syracuse Chapter President, long snapper Aaron Bolinsky, handled all the Orange long snap duties.

Penn State: The Nittany Lions rallied to take an eight-point lead late in regulation before Indiana tied it late in regulation and won it in the first overtime by narrowly scoring on a two-point conversion by quarterback Michael Penix, Jr. Former Penn State Chapter President, quarterback Sean Clifford, accounted for 357 yards of total offense (238 passing, 119 rushing) and four touchdowns.

Round-Up: NC State struggled in its first game without their regular starting quarterback, Devin Leary who is out for the season. The Wolfpack fell behind North Carolina on the road 17-7 at halftime before the Tar Heels ripped off 21 unanswered points to start the second half. … Playing for the first time in three weeks because of pandemic issues, Baylor saw its offense show plenty of rust for three quarters before finding its way in the fourth quarter at Texas. The Bears had nearly half of their 316 yards in the fourth quarter and scored twice. … Illinois Chapter President, offensive lineman Alex Palczewski, started his 37th consecutive game for the Fighting Illini in a road loss to Wisconsin. … Florida State saw Louisville score on its first five possessions to fall behind 31-14 at halftime and never recovered. … Georgia Tech turned it over early and fell behind 24-0 at Boston College. The Yellow Jackets were outgained by only 47 total yards, but lost the turnover battle 3-0 and had 10 penalties.

Each week during the college football season we will feature a player who is an officer for an Uplifting Athletes Chapter. This week we feature Maryland running back and Chapter President Jake Funk.

Chapter Update: Florida State pulls off big-time upset and three other chapter schools pick up Week 6 wins


For the first time in more than a half century an unranked Florida State team beat a top-five ranked team in Doak Campbell Stadium with a narrow victory over North Carolina. The last time it happened was October 16, 1965 when the Seminoles recorded a 10-3 win over No. 5 Georgia.

The upset provided Mike Norvell his first ACC victory as the Florida State head coach. The Seminoles’ last victory over a top-five team came in 2014 when they edged Notre Dame.

Quarterback Jordan Travis completed only eight passes, but finished with 191 yards through the air to average nearly 24 yard per completion. He also rushed 16 times for 107 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Florida State also blocked a pair of punts in the first quarter and now leads the nation in blocked kicks with five.

Florida State Chapter President, linebacker DeCalon Brooks, scooped up a blocked punt on the first drive of the game and returned it 18 yards to set up FSU’s first touchdown. Fellow FSU Chapter Leader, wide receiver Keyshawn Helton, had two catches for 43 yards.

Clemson: The Tigers scored a school record 52 points in the first half to extend its road winning streak to 14 games with a victory over fellow Uplifting Athletes Chapter Georgia Tech. The previous mark for points in a half was 49 against Wake Forest in 1981. Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence became only the second quarterback in school history to throw for 400 yards and five touchdowns in a road game. Lawrence joins Tajh Boyd, who did it twice – once in 2012 and another time in 2013. Clemson Chapter President, punter Will Spiers, averaged 50.7 yards on three punts. The senior also made a late cameo appearance at quarterback for the Tigers, completing 2 of 3 passes for 13 yards.

Notre Dame: Sophomore running back Kyren Williams posted his third consecutive 100-yard game to help the No. 4 ranked Fighting Irish edge Louisville to remain unbeaten. Williams finished with 127 yards on 25 carries. Louisville came into this contest averaging nearly 425 yards a game offensively, but an Irish defense that surrendered fewer than 12 points a game on average held the Cardinals to a season-low 219 yards and seven points. Notre Dame Chapter President, linebacker Drew White, finished with three tackles including a tackle for a loss.

NC State: The Wolfpack trailed by six at halftime, but used a strong defensive effort in the second half to roll past Duke at home. NC State outscored the Blue Devils 17-0 in the second half. Redshirt sophomore linebacker Payton Wilson had a pair of interceptions to become the first Wolfpack linebacker with a pair of interceptions in the same contest since Jerod Fernanez picked off No. 1 ranked Florida State twice in the 2014 matchup. Wilson also finished with a team-high 19 tackles in the victory over Duke, the most tackles for a Pack player since Earl Wolff had 19 vs. Clemson in 2012.

Syracuse: Back-up quarterback Rex Culpepper, playing in place of injured starter Tommy DeVito, threw three touchdown passes and running back Sean Tucker notched his second 100-yard game of the season in a home loss to Liberty. Former Syracuse Chapter Leader, punter Nolan Cooney, averaged 46.5 yards per punt and he dropped all six of his punts inside the 20-yard line.

Joshua Eargle, the 2019 Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion, stood in for Kansas’ Les Miles Saturday at West Virginia as the Jayhawks acting head coach. Miles was unable to make the trip to Morgantown after testing positive for COVID-19. Eargle won the award for his inspiring efforts to advance support and awareness for his daughter’s battle with an ultra rare disease.
Each week during the college football season we will feature a player who is an officer for an Uplifting Athletes Chapter. This week we feature Western Michigan linebacker and Chapter President Zaire Barnes.

Chapter Update: Notre Dame pushes past Florida State and three other teams nail down Week 5 victories


Playing for the first time in three weeks, No. 5 ranked Notre Dame used a balanced offensive attack to push past Florida State in a match-up of Uplifting Athletes chapter schools.

Sophomore running back Kyren Williams went for 185 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries and freshman Chris Tyree kicked in 103 on 11 carries with a touchdown. Combined the duo averaged 9.6 yards per carry.  Wide receiver Javon McKinley also had a 100-yard day, catching five passes for 107 yards. The last time Notre Dame had a pair of 100-yard rushers and a 100-yard receiver in a single game was 2015 against Stanford.

Florida State fell behind 14-3 early but counter punched the entire game, grabbing a 17-14 lead late in the first quarter. Seminoles quarterback Jordan Travis had 300 total yards in his first start (204 passing, 96 rushing) with a pair of touchdowns.

Notre Dame Chapter leaders, linebackers Drew White and JD Bertrand, each had three tackles for the Fighting Irish. Former chapter leader, tight end Brock Wright, had two catches for 10 yards.

Clemson: The No. 1 ranked Tigers extended their home winning streak to 25 in handing No. 13 Miami its first loss of the season. RB Travis Etienne had 222 total yards (149 rushing, 73 receiving) and scored a pair of rushing touchdowns. Etienne extended his school record for 100-yard rushing games to 19 and became the first non-kicker in ACC history to score 400 points. QB Trevor Lawrence added 292 yards passing with three touchdowns and the Clemson defense produced three interceptions and five sacks. Clemson Chapter President Will Spiers punted only three times but averaged a stellar 52.7 yards per kick and Vice President Jack Maddox handled all the long snapper duties for the Tigers.

Georgia Tech: After falling behind 21-7 late in the second quarter Friday night at Bobby Dodd Stadium, the Yellow Jackets went on a tear and overwhelmed Louisville to even their record at 2-2. Wide receiver Ahmarean Brown’s touchdown pass in the final minute ignited the comeback. Brown’s nine-yard toss to Jalen Camp was the first touchdown pass by a Georgia Tech wide receiver since 2003. The Yellow Jackets outscored the Cardinals 32-6 in the second half. Georgia Tech Chapter leaders Jake DeFoor and Zach Quinney started at left guard and left tackle, respectively.

NC State: The Wolfpack picked up their second road victory in as many weeks with a victory at Virginia. NC State scored 24 unanswered first-half points to grab control. QB Devin Leary threw a pair of first-quarter touchdown passes and RB Zonovan Knight added a 35-yard TD scamper to put NC State in control. The Wolfpack defense made a pair of goal-line stands, stopping UVA at the 1-yard line twice. NC State Chapter Vice President Dylan Autenrieth started at tight end and President Thomas Ruocchio saw snaps on special teams and at tight end.

Syracuse: Four forced turnovers by the Orange defense was not enough to overcome Duke’s strong balanced offense that produced nearly 650 yards of total offense. Syracuse Chapter President Aaron Bolinsky started at long snapper and former chapter leader Nolan Cooney averaged 46.9 yards per punt with half of his eight kicks traveling 50-plus yards including a pair downed inside the 20-yard-line.

Each week during the college football season we will feature a player who is an officer for an Uplifting Athletes Chapter. This week we feature Davidson quarterback and Chapter President Tyler Phelps.

Chapter Update: NC State rallies late to upset No. 24 Pitt and two other teams pick up Week 4 victories


NC State redshirt sophomore quarterback Devin Leary made his first start of the season a memorable one by guiding the Wolfpack on a late scoring drive and tossing a touchdown pass in the final minute to Emeka Emeze that completed a one-point upset at No. 24 Pitt.

Leary marched the Wolfpack 79 yards in eight plays for the winning score after Pitt took a 29-24 lead with 1:44 to play. Leary finished with 336 yards through the air and four touchdown passes.

In a back-and-forth game that featured more than 900 yards of total offense and zero turnovers, penalties played a huge role. Pitt was penalized 13 times for 125 yards and eight of the Wolfpack’s 28 first downs came via penalties.

Clemson: The Tigers extended their winning streak on Saturdays to 46, passing the 1953-57 Oklahoma Sooners for the longest such streak in FBS history by taking out Virginia at home. QB Trevor Lawrence threw for 329 and three touchdowns. RB Travis Etienne rang up 187 yards from scrimmage and a pair of touchdowns. Etienne set a Clemson record for receiving yardage by a running back with 114 yards on five receptions. He broke C.J. Spiller’s running back record of 108 yards from 2008, and is only the second running back in Clemson history to surpass 100 receiving yards in a game.

Florida State: Redshirt sophomore quarterback Jordan Travis came off the bench and guided the Seminoles to five consecutive scoring drives to rally the Seminoles to a come-from-behind victory over FCS Jacksonville State. The Gamecocks led 21-14 at halftime. It was FSU’s first win for new head coach Mike Norvell. Florida State Chapter Leader Keyshawn Helton had 162 all-purpose yards and a touchdown for the Seminoles. Helton had three catches for 53 yards and totaled 109 on four kickoff returns including a pair of 30-plus yard returns.

Baylor: The Bears couldn’t take advantage of their opportunities in regulation on the road at West Virginia and fell in double overtime to the Mountaineers. Baylor missed three  field goals and was stopped on a fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard-line in the fourth quarter trailing 14-7. The Bears forced four turnovers, but misfired on first-half field goal attempts from 46 and 48 yards and had a 51-yard attempt on the final play of the first half blocked.

Each week during the college football season we will feature a player who is an officer for an Uplifting Athletes Chapter. This week we feature Illinois offensive lineman and Chapter President Alex Palczewski.

Chapter Update: Georgia Tech rallies past Florida State and two other teams post Week 1 victories


Georgia Tech overcame a tough first half that included two interceptions and a pair of blocked field goals to rally from 10 points down to win its season opener on the road against fellow Uplifting Athletes Chapter Florida State.

True freshman quarterback Jeff Sims accounted for 341 total yards in his first start and Jude Kelly drilled a 32-yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter to win it for the Yellow Jackets.

Georgia Tech’s defense surrendered a touchdown on the opening drive of the game before slamming the door by limiting the Seminoles offense to only two field goals the rest of the way.

Clemson: A school record 18th career 100-yard rushing game by running back Travis Etienne along with a stellar outing by quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who threw for 351 yards and scored a pair of rushing touchdowns, powered the No. 1 ranked Tigers to a road victory at Wake Forest. Clemson Chapter leader Will Spiers averaged 42.8 yards on four punts including a 56-yard bomb. The Tigers’ defense registered six sacks and 11 tackles for a loss.

Notre Dame: Sophomore running back Kyren Williams, making his first career start, torched visiting Duke for 205 total yards and a pair of touchdowns as Notre Dame recorded its first ever conference victory. Williams became the first Irish player in the last 25 years to record 90-plus yards rushing and receiving in the same game. Notre Dame Chapter leader and starting linebacker Drew White recorded five tackles.

Syracuse: Led by three interceptions, two by linebacker Mikel Jones, the Orange defense kept Syracuse in the game for three quarters on the road against No. 18 North Carolina. The Orange trailed 10-6 entering the final 15 minutes before the Tar Heels rattled off touchdowns on three consecutive possessions to finish off the determined Orange. Former Syracuse Chapter leader Nolan Cooney drilled four of his nine punts more than 50 yards and averaged a stellar 47.8 yards per kick.

Each week during the college football season we will feature a player who is an officer for an Uplifting Athletes Chapter. This week we present Colgate quarterback and Chapter President Jake Froschauer

Why support rare now?


Nearly 30 million Americans are living with a rare disease and  COVID-19 continues to present a myriad of challenges that is not only impacting the patients but their families and caregivers as well.

At the top of the list is reduced access to vital medical care which, in turn, has exacerbated already existing challenges. Among those already existing challenges include an accurate diagnosis of a complex disease, limited treatment protocol options, financial struggles, absence of hope and mental fatigue for patients, families and caregivers. 

“I don’t think you need to have a rare disease to have had all of this impact you mentally,” said Dr. Justin Hopkin, the father of a son with a rare disease and a rare disease advocate. “Managing the mental aspect of all this has been difficult for everybody. Finances, jobs, social issues … all those things have weighed heavily on most of us, but we know it’s been especially hard on those living with a rare disease.”

The isolation some Americans are feeling as we navigate the obstacle course of this pandemic is how some rare disease patients feel everyday. 

Since March, medical research on diseases other than COVID-19 has taken a huge hit. There have been countless research studies abandoned, suspended or postponed. 

Much is still unanswered about the ultimate impact the pandemic will have on clinical trials, too. That’s because it is unclear how many of these studies will eventually restart and how long it will be before they begin again.

Clinical trials play a critical role physically and mentally for rare disease patients. They show researchers and doctors what does and doesn’t work, and are a critical vehicle for rare disease patients to receive or obtain life altering therapy.

A clinical trial being delayed, interrupted or canceled can be a tipping point for a rare disease patient . They don’t have the luxury in most cases of multiple clinical trials. And the delay, interruption or cancelation of that trial jeopardizes any hope they might have had and could even be life threatening.

All this is going to lead to a healthcare system already pushed to its extreme limits by this pandemic becoming backed up and slowed even more. And it will directly and adversely impact a Rare Disease Community that faces an uphill climb under optimal conditions.

“Like everyone else, what we are hearing from the patients in our community has been tough,” said Kathi Luis, a rare disease advocate. “There was a lot of hopelessness, without their rehab, medication, treatments, clinical trials delayed or canceled … they didn’t have any hope. They are really defeated.”

In April, the National Organization For Rare Diseases (NORD) reached out to patients to gauge the best way to guide support and help for the Rare Disease Community.

Nearly 800 people responded to the survey from NORD’s research team and the results were made public last month.

95 percent of the respondents said they have been impacted at a cost to both their immediate and long-term health and well-being. Nearly three-quarters have had a medical appointment canceled and, of those, 65 percent were offered an alternative appointment via phone or video. 69 percent of the respondents have concerns about medication and medical supply shortages.

“Treating rare and medically complex cases like mine takes multimodal approaches. Remove one piece of the puzzle and the care patients receive results in sub-optimal outcomes. COVID-19 further exposed a glaring problem in the healthcare system by asking us what defines essential medical treatments,” said Marni Cartelli, a rare disease patient. “What if a treatment on its face doesn’t keep someone alive but is supplemental to one that does? Also, we must ask ourselves, is keeping someone alive the only essential medical service? What about keeping someone’s ability to feed themselves? These are all questions I ask myself every single day but society only had to ask itself in this pandemic.”

The time for action to support the Rare Disease Community is now. As we all adjust to what is the most recent new normal, the mental fatigue associated with the unknown for rare disease patients continues.

Uplifting Athletes is uniquely positioned to inspire hope in the Rare Disease Community. The 7,000 Mile Challenge is a way for YOU to get active and rally support for the rare diseases this summer.

Inaugural 7,000 Mile Challenge to support the Rare Disease Community set for July 17-26


Uplifting Athletes is proud to announce the inaugural 7,000 Mile Challenge – a 10-day event starting July 17th that will bring focus and attention to the more than 7,000 known rare diseases.

People affected by a rare disease are fighting against a finite clock that didn’t stop because of COVID-19. We’re letting the Rare Disease Community know that we won’t stop fighting for them!

“We are rallying our extensive network behind one initiative this summer so that we can continue to support our friends and partners in the Rare Disease Community,” Uplifting Athletes Executive Director Rob Long said. “Our team has worked hard to find a way to afford everyone the opportunity to take action and help the Rare Disease Community.”

It does not matter whether you are a casual walker, an avid runner, swimmer or roll on wheels of any kind, you can help make a difference for the Rare Disease Community. To participate in the 7,000-Mile challenge join an existing team, create a new team for you and others, or participate as an individual.  

Track and add your mileage to the collective Uplifting Athletes total using any single day or combination of days throughout the 10-day challenge. You can collect pledges for every mile you contribute to the challenge to support the mission of Uplifting Athletes. 

Join Uplifting Athletes wherever you are July 17th to 26th and rally your support for the Rare Disease Community through activity, donation or both!

To pre-register and start helping Uplifting Athletes Tackle Rare Diseases, visit upliftingathletes.org. Now is a time for action so no one in the Rare Disease Community lives without hope.

Proceeds from the 7,000 Mile Challenge support the mission of Uplifting Athletes and its charitable programs: Rare Disease Awareness, Rare Disease Research, Uplifting Leaders and Uplifting Experiences.

Any questions about the 7,000 Mile Challenge, please send an email to info@uplitingathletes.org.