In the current world of college football, it’s easy to get caught up in the thrill of the game, the passion of the crowd, and the relentless pursuit of victory. But there’s more to the game than just wins and losses.

Amidst the competitive fervor, there exists a beacon of hope, compassion and generosity, embodied by those who leverage their platform to make a positive impact beyond the gridiron.

Today, we recognize Boone Bonnema, a Redshirt Junior linebacker from Western Michigan University, as a Rare Disease Champion.

Bonnema has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the rare disease community throughout his time at Western Michigan. His dedication has not only helped bring awareness to an often invisible group, but also serves as an inspiration to fellow athletes and fans alike.

Bonnema, a native of Zeeland, Michigan, is no stranger to philanthropic endeavors. Two of Bonnema’s siblings are currently in Africa for mission work and from a very young age his father preached about being a servant leader. “My dad would always say, ‘make sure you serve others before you serve yourself,’ and I took that to heart,” said Bonnema.

Read Boone’s full story here.