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Your Source for the Latest at Notre Dame



Uplifting Athletes is a non-profit organization of college football athletes. It was a started in 2003 by Scott Shirley and his Penn State Football teammates. At that time, they held the inaugural “Lift for Life.” The mission of Uplifting Athletes is to “Inspire the Rare Disease Community with hope through the power of sport.”

Several universities created their own chapters, and the University of Notre Dame started “tackling rare diseases” back in 2012. Our chapter was started by former Notre Dame Football player, Joe Schmidt. Notre Dame fights in honor of rare disease patient, Sam Grewe. Irish fans of course must remember Sam. As a teenager he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in 2011 and being a huge Fighting Irish fan, became close with the football team throughout his battle. Sam, a cancer SURVIVOR, went on to jump for the University of Notre Dame Track and Field team. Grewe also became a Paralympic Gold Medalist in 2022 in the high jump. He is currently attending medical school at the University of Michigan.

Notre Dame’s chapter has already participated in a very successful bowling event this summer which included participation by the players, patients, family members and caregivers from the Rare Disease community.

The team has continued to participate in creating a strength and conditioning competition each summer. The team is divided up into 10 smaller teams, and they compete against each other, inviting their fans to pledge “for the total number of max leg press repetitions across our entire team.”

Notre Dame Football will conduct its 2022 Lift for Life this Friday, July 22, 2022. Which team will win? Who knows, but of course, the real winners will be the members of the Rare Disease Community. You can still donate to your favorite team by clicking on the link below.

As always, GO IRISH!

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