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Inspiring Advocacy

The Philadelphia Inquirer, one of the leading newspapers in the United States, takes a close look at Uplifting Athletes and the rare disease researchers who won grants from the organization this year.

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Uplifting Athletes Executive Director Rob Long at the podium

The Philadelphia Inquirer, one of the leading publications in the U.S., recently featured the nonprofit Uplifting Athletes, a group that supports rare disease research through unique partnerships with college and pro athletes. CSL Behring has sponsored its annual Young Investigator Draft event since its inception.


Here are three inspiring quotes from the story:


From Dr. Sarah Sheppard, a physician scientist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Center for Applied Genomics, who received a $20,000 grant to research rare vascular anomolies: “I grew up [wanting] to be a doctor. Everything starts with the patients and wanting to help them.”


From Timothy Hines, a postdoctoral associate at Maine’s Jackson Laboratory, who received a grant to research Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.


“It’s my first grant, and I’m stoked,” said Hines, 30, adding he’s grateful for funding that “will help me understand the cell biology behind the disease.”


From Rob Long, Executive Director of Uplifting Athletes, who faced a rare brain cancer in 2010 when he was college football punter with hopes of going to the NFL: “When I was in that exam room 10 years and four months ago, and I received that diagnosis, I was lucky there was [treatment] they could try,” said Long. “They could do that because time, money, and effort had been spent.”


See the full story here: Brain cancer ended his NFL dreams. Now he’s scoring touchdowns for rare-disease researchers.