2012 Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion will be Announced Wednesday

Sunday, February 26, 2012
Jaime Fettrow

The 2012 Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion Award winner will be announced Wednesday, February 29th.  Executive Director Scott Shirley will announce the winner at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md, as part of the day's events to recognize Global Rare Disease Day. 

Shirley is expected to make the announcement at 1:20 p.m.  A webcast of the event can be seen here:  http://videocast.nih.gov/

The four finalists for this year's award include: Nebraska's Rex Burkhead, North Carolina State's Wayne Crawford, UCLA's Luke Gane and Florida's David Lerner. The honor is presented annually to recognize a leader in the world of college football who has realized his or her potential to make a positive and lasting impact on the rare disease community.  More than 30-million Americans are affected by rare diseases.

Online voting ended on Sunday, February 26th.  A record number of votes were counted; more than 76,000 votes were cast for this year's award.  

Previous winners include American Football Coaches Association Executive Director, Grant Teaff (2009); Dickinson College Quarterback, Ian Mitchell (2010); Princeton Running Back Jordan Culbreath (2011).

To read each finalist’s personal story and connection to the rare disease community, go to www.upliftingathletes.org/vote