Syracuse University Football
Syracuse University Football

About Syracuse University Uplifting Athletes

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Uplifting Athletes is a national nonprofit that uses college football as a platform to inspire the rare disease community with hope through the power of sport.

Our nationwide network of college football student-athlete led university chapters help bring the vision of Uplifting Athletes to life; which is to empower people to take action against rare diseases and inspires the medical community to find cures.

Each Uplifting Athletes Chapter has its own unique rare disease inspiration, but also serves as a teammate for the rare disease community to help inspire others with hope through the power of sport.

College football players at each university chapter hold special events, fundraising campaigns and awareness drives to shine a spotlight on rare diseases and raise funds for Uplifting Athletes to benefit the rare disease community.

The challenges faced by the rare disease community are bigger than any one individual, team or organization can tackle alone. The grassroots effort of the Syracuse Chapter helps educate the local community and provides individual patients with a life changing experience.

The Syracuse Chapter started tackling rare diseases in 2013 when it joined Uplifting Athletes. The student-athlete led Syracuse Chapter serves the rare disease community in honor of Rob Long, a former Orange punter and team captain.

Long was diagnosed with a rare malignant brain tumor and battled through his rare disease to make a full recovery. Long continues to be a strong rare disease advocate and supporter of the Syracuse Chapter.

The Syracuse Chapter also has supported and continues to support a local 7-year-old girl, Lillian Belfield, who battles a rare brain cancer. Lillian was diagnosed on January 23, 2015 with anaplastic astroblastoma and has gone through radiation and chemotherapy treatments over the past year and a half.

To support her on her journey, Lillian and her family have been able to attend multiple SU games and practices. The team also was able to attend one of Lillian’s own soccer games, where she scored her first goal of the season! Lillian’s attitude on life and perseverance have been an inspiration to the team and the surrounding community. 

Thanks for helping the Syracuse Chapter of Uplifting Athletes tackle rare diseases. Together…We Are…Stronger!

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