Princeton Chapter annual Lift For Life on deck May 8th and will feature an offense vs. defense bench press competition


PRINCETON L4L 18 GRAPHICThe Princeton Chapter of Uplifting Athletes will hold its annual Lift For Life to support the rare disease community on Tuesday, May 8th outside the Trist Student Center starting at 4:45 p.m.

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

Each chapter embraces the mission of Uplifting Athletes using college football as a platform to inspire the rare disease community with hope through the power of sport.

“It is an honor to be able to use our platform to help raise awareness and support Uplifting Athletes and the rare disease community,” said Princeton Chapter President and Tigers offensive lineman Andre Guest. “We are all proud to be part of a team that is working so hard to tackle rare diseases.”

The 2018 Princeton Chapter Lift For Life is a competition pitting the Offense vs. Defense to see which side of the ball can average the most bench press repetitions during Lift For Life.

Fans and supporters can make a pledge for every bench press repetition a particular team averages during the event. So pick your favorite side of the ball and support that team by visiting the Princeton Chapter Lift For Life fundraising site.

The proceeds from Lift For Life support the mission of Uplifting Athletes and its charitable programs: Rare Disease Awareness, Rare Disease Research, Uplifting Experiences and Uplifting Leaders.

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

The Princeton Chapter started tackling rare diseases in 2011 when it joined Uplifting Athletes. The student-athlete led Princeton Chapter serves the rare disease community in honor of Jordan Culbreath, a former Tigers running back.

Culbreath was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder and battled through his rare disease diagnosis to return to the field and finish his playing career. His inspiring story of hope not only led his Princeton teammates to form a chapter, Culbreath was also honored as the 2011 Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion.

Please support the Princeton Chapter and help the Tigers reach their impressive $10,000 team Lift For Life goal.

Colgate Chapter set to hold Lift For Life April 26 featuring a bench press competition between offense and defense


COLGATE L4L 18 GRAPHIC NEWThe Colgate Chapter of Uplifting Athletes will hold its annual Lift For Life to support the rare disease community on Thursday, April 26th.

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

Each chapter embraces the mission of Uplifting Athletes using college football as a platform to inspire the rare disease community with hope through the power of sport.

The 2018 Colgate Chapter Lift For Life is a competition pitting the Offense vs. Defense to see who can average the most bench press repetitions during Lift For Life.

“Life for Life and Uplifting Athletes is an important part of the Colgate Football experience. Our program is proud to be inspiring the Rare Disease Community with hope thorough the power of sport,” said Raiders wide receiver and Colgate Chapter President Owen Buscaglia said. “Colgate football aims to raise awareness and will continue to fight for this great cause.”

Fans and supporters can make a pledge for every bench press repetition a particular team averages during the event. So pick your favorite side of the ball and support that team by visiting the Colgate Chapter Lift For Life fundraising page.

The proceeds from Lift For Life support the mission of Uplifting Athletes and its charitable programs: Rare Disease Awareness, Rare Disease Research, Uplifting Experiences and Uplifting Leaders.

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

The Colgate Chapter started tackling rare diseases in 2008 when it joined Uplifting Athletes, becoming the second chapter to join the Uplifting Athletes network. The Raiders have been pillars of light in the community during that time, using their platform in honor of former offensive coach Casey Vogt and others that continue to battle rare diseases.

Please support the Colgate Chapter and help the Raiders reach their impressive $2,000 team Lift For Life goal.

Mitchell Meyers came all the way back from 18-month battle with a rare disease to play his final season at Iowa State and win the 2017 Rare Disease Champion Award


RARE DISEASE SPOTLIGHT GRAPHIC

There are more than 7,000 rare diseases but we are one rare disease community. Regularly, Uplifting Athletes will put one rare disease center stage to give that disease and its community a chance to shine.

Rare Disease: Hodgkin’s disease

Brief Description: Hodgkin’s disease is one of a group of cancers known as a lymphoma – a general term used to describe cancers that affect the lymphatic system, especially the lymph nodes. Tumors often form in the lymph nodes and/or the area around the nodes. The exact cause of Hodgkin’s disease is unknown, but some classic symptoms include fever, night sweats, and weight loss may occur along with swollen lymph nodes. Hodgkin’s disease affects the tissues and lymph nodes of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system, which is part of the body’s immune system, consists of a complex series of thin vessels that are similar to blood vessels and run throughout the body. Treatment of Hodgkin’s disease depends on the stage of the disease. Radiotherapy and chemotherapy are the two main treatment options.

Rare Connection: Former Iowa State defensive lineman Mitchell Meyers became the ninth winner of the Rare Disease Champion award in 2017. Meyers endured a long and difficult 18-month journey with the rare disease Hodgkin’s lymphoma. An impact player in 2013 and 2014 for the Cyclones football team, Meyers lost his 2015 season when he was diagnosed in February of that year. He left school and returned home to Texas to begin his fight. He vowed to his teammates he would return for the 2016 season. During his 13 months of chemotherapy and radiation treatment, Meyers suffered a serious setback when he became one of those rare patients who had a relapse. He went through a stem cell transplant early in 2016, and playing football again became less of a reality with each passing month. But Meyers never gave up. He did what he could to keep his body in shape, despite losing more than 50 pounds, with the commitment to overcome the odds and play again. Just prior to preseason camp for the 2016 season, Meyers hard work paid off and he was cleared to practice.   But he had been away from the game for 18 months. With nothing promised to him by the coaching staff other than an opportunity to compete, Meyers went out and won a starting job at defensive end and served as an inspiration for his Cyclone teammates. He was voted as a team captain for the 2017 Iowa State team and wore the No. 58 for the Cyclones that year. Each season Iowa State hands the No. 58 jersey to a lineman who best embodies the spirit of a beloved former coach who died suddenly in 2014. Meyers not only earned a starting spot, he became a big-time contributor up front defensively for the Cyclones, playing in all 12 games, recording 30 tackles and becoming an Academic All-Big 12 selection. Currently, Meyers is working for Houston-based Crane Logistics in their year-long Leadership Development Trainee program.

Patient Groups: American Cancer Society, Cancer Support Community, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Lymphoma Research Foundation.

Getting Social: Twitter: @AmericanCancer, @CancerSupportHQ, @LLSusa, @lymphoma. Facebook: American Cancer Society, Cancer Support Community, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Lymphoma Community.

Learn More: There is one FDA approved treatments for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Leukine. To learn more about clinical trials go here. Currently there are more than 1,100 active clinical trials for Hodgkin’s disease. Some of the most well-respected resources inside the rare disease community include National Institute of Health (NIH), National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) and Global Genes.

 

Davidson football program joins Uplifting Athletes chapter network and set to host inaugural Lift For Life event April 26


DAVIDSON L4L 18 GRAPHICUplifting Athletes is pleased to have Davidson College join the nationwide network of chapters led by college football student-athletes.

Each chapter embraces the mission of Uplifting Athletes by using college football as a platform to inspire the rare disease community with hope through the power of sport.

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

The Davidson Chapter of Uplifting Athletes will hold its inaugural Lift For Life to support the rare disease community on Thursday, April 26th.

Lift For Life is the signature fundraising event for the Uplifting Athletes nationwide network of chapters.

“The Davidson College Uplifting Athletes Chapter is extremely proud to join the elite network of Uplifting Athletes chapters. At Davidson, our team prides ourselves on helping others each and every day,” said Davidson linebacker and chapter co-founder George Hatalowich. “We are both excited and honored to use our platform to raise awareness and support for rare diseases. We cannot thank Uplifting Athletes enough for this opportunity and their continuous support. We believe together we can tackle rare diseases for good.”

The 2018 Davidson Chapter Lift For Life is a competition among seven teams comprised of members of the 2018 Wildcats to see which squad can average the most bench press repetitions during Lift For Life.

Fans and supporters can make a pledge for every bench press repetition a particular team averages during the event. So find your favorite 2018 Davidson player and support his team by visiting the Davidson Chapter fundraising page.

The proceeds from Lift For Life support the mission of Uplifting Athletes and its charitable programs: Rare Disease Awareness, Rare Disease Research, Uplifting Experiences and Uplifting Leaders.

Nearly 40 NFL prospects give back as part of Reps For Rare Diseases campaign


RFRD THANK YOUNearly 40 NFL prospects committed themselves to giving back during one of the biggest days of their lives. When the stakes were the highest, these former college football players chose to support the rare disease community through Uplifting Athletes’ Reps For Rare Diseases campaign.

Throughout the month of March players attending the annual NFL Combine or their individual university pro day workouts pledged their performance to help raise awareness and funds in support of Uplifting Athletes’ mission.

“What impressed me the most about our Reps for Rare Diseases’ participants was their enthusiasm for making a difference in the lives of others,” Uplifting Athletes Director of Chapter Development Brett Brackett said. “Through promotion, interacting with patients and pushing their bodies a little extra, they elevated the cause and provided a much-needed light shining brightly on the Rare Disease Community.”

No fewer than 16 schools were represented including: Notre Dame, Penn State, Northwestern, Princeton, Maryland, Illinois, Nebraska, Clemson, Syracuse, Western Michigan, Pitt, Temple, Virginia Tech, Holy Cross and Connecticut.

Fans and supporters could donate to any player based on the number of bench press repetitions they performed at either the NFL Combine or individual university pro day.

Former Princeton quarterback Chad Kanoff was the top fundraiser for our team, followed by Penn State linebacker Jason Cabinda and Pitt punter Ryan Winslow.

The 2018 Uplifting Athletes Reps For Rare Diseases campaign raised more than $44,000 with 13 individual players notching at least $1,000.

All proceeds from the Reps For Rare Diseases campaign support the mission of Uplifting Athletes and its charitable programs: Rare Disease Awareness, Rare Disease Research, Uplifting Experiences and Uplifting Leaders.

Thank you to all the participants and supporters for helping us tackle rare diseases and inspiring the rare disease community with hope. We wish each and every former college football student-athlete the best of luck in your quest to achieve your dream.

Extensive battle with rare bone cancer Osteosarcoma could not keep Casey O’Brien off the football field


RARE DISEASE SPOTLIGHT GRAPHIC

There are more than 7,000 rare diseases but we are one rare disease community. Regularly, Uplifting Athletes will put one rare disease center stage to give that disease and its community a chance to shine.

Rare Disease: Osteosarcoma

Brief Description: From among the many forms of rare bone cancers, osteosarcoma is considered the most common type of bone cancer. The average age at diagnosis is 15. Boys and girls have a similar incidence of this tumor until late adolescence, at which time boys are more commonly affected. It is considered even more rare for osteosarcoma to occur in adults. Although osteosarcoma tends to occur in the larger bones, such as the shin (near the knee), thigh (near the knee) and upper arm (near the shoulder), it can occur in any bone. A number of variants of osteosarcoma exist. The cause of osteosarcoma is not known. In some cases, it runs in families, and at least one gene has been linked to increased risk. Treatment varies from person to person and may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and samarium.

Rare Connection: There was a nagging soreness in his left knee that 2018 Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion Award finalist Casey O’Brien figured he could play through. He’d figure it out after his high school freshman football season was over. He was the quarterback, and he wasn’t hurt. So he played. The pain did not go away and his father, Dan, was concerned. A series of x-rays and tests didn’t reveal anything, so O’Brien charged forward and went into high school hockey tryouts. Only problem was he could no longer skate because of the lingering pain in his knee. Another round of tests, including an MRI, revealed the deeper problem. O’Brien, who remembers that Friday vividly, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. By Monday he had the first of what would be become 10 surgeries and more than 150 days in the hospital over an 18-month span. All those days in the hospital gave the resilient O’Brien plenty of time to think. A three-sport athlete growing up, sports was all O’Brien knew. He loved football the most, and wanted to get back on the field, but his options were limited. One night, while lying in a hospital bed receiving another round of treatment, O’Brien and his father hatched up a plan. While enduring ongoing chemotherapy treatment, O’Brien played for Cretin-Derham Hall High School as a holder despite being only 115 pounds and bald. His playing schedule was two weeks on and week off to mirror his treatment schedule. A late-night plan hatched in a hospital bed played out for two seasons at Cretin-Derham Hall High School and continues today… Just last year, Casey O’Brien earned a spot on the University of Minnesota Gophers football squad as a walk-on holder.

Patient Groups: Sarcoma Alliance, Sarcoma Foundation of America, The Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative.

Getting Social: Twitter: @SarcomaAlliance, @CureSarcoma Facebook: Sarcoma Alliance, Sarcoma Foundation of America

Learn More: There are three FDA approved treatments for osteosarcoma, Fusilev, Leucovorin calcium and Methotrexate. To learn more about clinical trials go here. Some of the most well respected resources inside the rare disease community include National Institute of Health (NIH), National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) and Global Genes.

Former Orange linebacker Zaire Franklin joins Uplifting Athletes Reps For Rare Diseases team during Syracuse Pro Day March 19


ZAIRE RFRD 18 GRAPHICFormer Syracuse standout Zaire Franklin has chosen to make his Pro Day a platform to inspire the rare disease community with hope through the power of sport.

The linebacker is doing a Reps For Rare Diseases campaign with Uplifting Athletes to support the Rare Disease Community.

Fans and supporters can join Zaire and Uplifting Athletes to help tackle rare diseases by making a pledge today for every bench press repetition Franklin performs at the Syracuse Pro Day on March 19 by visiting his Reps For Rare Diseases site.

Franklin views Uplifting Athletes as an important part of his Syracuse experience, and that is why he chose to launch a Reps for Rare Diseases campaign.

As I take a step toward my NFL dream, I’d like to use this opportunity to give back,” Franklin said. “I have committed my performance at the Syracuse Pro Day to support Uplifting Athletes and its mission to help tackle rare diseases.”

The proceeds from this Reps For Rare Diseases campaign support the mission of Uplifting Athletes and its charitable programs: Rare Disease Awareness, Rare Disease Research, Uplifting Experiences and Uplifting Leaders.

Make your pledge now to join Zaire Franklin in the fight against rare diseases.