About University of Illinois Uplifting Athletes
Uplifting Athletes is a national nonprofit organization aligning college football with rare diseases. Each campus chapter is run by football student-athletes and works to elevate its chosen rare disease as a national priority through outreach, research, education and advocacy.
Our network of university chapters brings the mission of Uplifting Athletes to life.
As part of our outreach program, each university chapter is run by current football student-athletes and adopts a rare disease that has personal meaning to their team. These rare diseases affect less than 200,000 Americans and consequently little attention is paid to them.
College football players in each university chapter hold special events, fundraising campaigns or awareness drives to attract fans and media, making their chosen rare disease more popular and generating new money for research.
The Illinois Chapter raises money and awareness to benefit acoustic neuroma, a rare slow-growing tumor of the nerve that connects the ear to the brain. The Illinois Chapter started in 2012 in honor of offensive lineman Andrew Carter, who was diagnosed with Acoustic neuroma in 2011 and never played football again.