Sam lived out his dream of playing big-time college football as an offensive lineman for three seasons after nearly dying from complications related to his rare diagnosis. The native of Wisconsin lives with congenital thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TPP), a rare blood disorder that does not allow for the production of the ADAMTS13 enzyme, which breaks down large proteins.

In order to help his body manage, he must undergo 14-20 hours of plasma therapy every three weeks, including during football season. When Sam first joined the team at Syracuse University, he learned about the strong tradition of leadership within the Syracuse Chapter of Uplifting Athletes. Being a rare disease patient himself, the cause had purpose and special meaning to him.

Reluctant to talk about his rare diagnosis because he wanted his performance to speak for itself, Sam learned his voice is strong and his platform is big. He spent two years as the Syracuse Chapter President, giving back to the Rare Disease Community he is a part of.