The Rare Disease Champion Award
is given annually to a leader in college football who has realized his or her potential to make a positive and lasting impact on the rare disease community.
College: United State Naval Academy
Rare disease connection: As a youngster from second through fifth grades, Ferguson suffered from a rare neurological disorder known as Guillain-Barre Syndrome. The rare disease took away his ability to walk – Ferguson relied on a walker for a year - and also affected his memory. Guillain-Barre Syndrome nearly took his life.
In his own words: “I had to relearn everything. I had to learn how to talk again and had to learn basic motor skills. I will always keep pushing forward and stay positive and that's what I tell others.”