Fordham Football Summer Conditioning Program Raises Funds for Uplifting Athletes
Aug. 7, 2012
Bronx, N.Y. -
The Fordham University football squad made its summer conditioning pay off in more ways than one. Besides getting in shape for the 2012 season, the Rams used the workout program as the first fundraiser for Uplifting Athletes, raising money and awareness for pediatric brain cancer research.
Last spring, the Rams decided to join with Uplifting Athletes to raise money and awareness for rare diseases. The genesis of this project came from seniors Daniel and James Avedesian, along with Andrew Milmore, who decided to form a Fordham chapter of the organization. Once formed, it was easy for the Rams to decide on a cause as they opted to benefit one of their own, Ty Campbell, a young boy suffering from an extra renal rhabdoid tumor who was "adopted" by the team last summer.
Uplifting Athletes is a 501(c)(3) national non-profit organization that aligns college football with rare disease research. There are currently 16 Uplifting Athletes chapters nationwide including Penn State, Notre Dame, Boston College, Colgate, and Princeton. Each chapter has adopted one of nearly 7,000 rare diseases that collectively affect close to 30 million Americans. 75% of these rare diseases affect children and 30% of children with a rare disease will no live to see their fifth birthday. Treatment options for rare disease patients are often extremely limited and 95% of rare diseases have no FDA approved drug treatments.
At the beginning of the summer conditioning program, the Rams were split into eight teams for some friendly competition in all sorts of drills, ranging from agility drills to tire flips to tug of war, to add some incentive for the players. The Rams accepted donation for each team through their Uplifting Athletes Fundraising Page and have raised over $2,500 of their $4,000 goal to date. The Rams were one of nine teams to have a Lift for Life fundraiser this summer, joining Boston College, Colgate, Illinois, Maryland, N.C. State, Northwestern, Penn State and Princeton.
Team three, comprised of JQ Bowers, Jake Dixon, Thomas Fisher, Rustom Khouri, Carlton Koonce, Dan Light, Adam Malkiewicz, DeAndre Slate and Chris Watkins, won the competition with a perfect 4-0 record, followed by team eight of Vincent Antinozzi, Jeramie Brown, Austin Hancock, John LaSure, Garrick Mayweather, Andrew Milmore, Andrew Spanarkel, Ian Williams and Nick Womack, who were 3-1.
"We competed every Wednesday all summer for points which we used as a way to raise awareness and money for pediatric brain cancer research," said Milmore. "Each team had a goal of $500 with a total goal to raise $4,000 total for Ty and his family."
This was the first of many fundraisers the football student-athletes will host this year as part of Uplifting Athletes as they attempt to raise money and awareness of pediatric brain cancer research, specifically extrarenal rhabdoid tumors, with Ty as their inspiration.
Ty and his family's story is truly inspirational and consistently inspires the Fordham Football family. Here is the link to his mother's blog, Super Ty Blog, that shares the Campbell's experiences and posts updates on Ty's progress. It also provides links to Ty's Facebook page and foundations that support kids with cancer.
"Extrarenal rhabdoid tumors are a highly aggressive soft tissue cancer that mostly affects children and the survival rate is 5%," said Milmore. "Ty Campbell is beating the odds and continues to fight every single day, but he and the other children diagnosed with the horrible disease cannot fight this fight alone. We need to help bring awareness and resources to the fight."
"This is just our first event with more to come later this year," continue Milmore. "We hope to have some events at our home games this fall so that we can further spread the word and raise money for a truly worthwhile cause."
Donations are easily made through the Fordham Uplifting Athletes page. You can also donate by check. Please make the payable to Fordham Uplifting Athletes and mail it to:
Donations to Uplifting Athletes are tax deductible as it is a full service nonprofit registered as a 501(c))(3) organization.