Uplifting Athletes is proud to announce that Ian Mitchell (Newtown Square, Pa./Malvern Prep) has been named the 2010 Rare Disease Champion. The award is given to a leader in sports, individual or organization, who has realized his or her potential to make a positive and lasting impact on the rare disease community.
Mitchell raised more than $95,000 during his playing career in honor of a childhood friend who passed away from a rare form of bone cancer. 75-percent of rare diseases, in fact, affect children. Families of children with rare diseases benefited from the money Ian collected.
More than 20,000 votes were cast and more than 80 comments made for the five finalists. Mitchell amassed 8562 votes or more than 41% of the votes. Uplifting Athletes believes the accomplishments of all five finalists are admirable. The stories of adversity and triumph were not only inspiring to us as an organization, but also to total strangers who have emailed us.
We'd like to congratulate Villanova's Matt Szczur, Tulsa's
Wilson Holloway, Penn State's Tom Golarz and Clemson's Stanley
Hunter. Uplifting Athletes is finalizing its plans to honor all
five finalists and winner Ian Mitchell. Details will be released at
a later date.
Background of Uplifting Athletes:
Uplifting Athletes was founded as the "Lift For Life" event by college football student-athletes in response to a player's experience with a rare disease. It has grown into a full service nonprofit organization whose mission is to align college football with rare diseases and raise them as a national priority. Multiple university chapters are operated by current football student-athletes on different campuses to benefit a rare disease relevant to their team.
On behalf of everyone involved, we would like say thank you to everyone who voted and provided comments. The response was overwhelmingly supportive and has brought awareness to a few outstanding individuals and accomplishments.
For more on Mitchell's story, Uplifting Athletes and the Rare Disease Champion Award, go to the Uplifting Athletes website.