Uplifting Athletes Chooses Six Finalist in 2016 Rare Disease Champion Award

February 12, 2016

Uplifting Athletes is pleased to announce that six finalists have been chosen for the 2016 Rare Disease Champion Award.

The Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion Award is given to a leader in college football who has realized his or her potential to make a positive and lasting impact on the rare disease community.

Nominees for the 2016 award were solicited from any NCAA FBS, FCS, Division II or Division III institution or college football programs nationwide.

The six finalists chosen to determine the eighth winner of the award are: Penn player-coach Kaleb Germinaro, Iowa State defensive end Mitchell Meyers, USC long snapper Jake Olson, UCLA cornerback Marcus Rios, Liberty linebacker Zachary Schreiber and West Virginia running backs coach Ja’Juan Seider.

A public online vote will be live from February 1st until midnight February 17th to determine the 2016 Rare Disease Champion. You can vote once each day for your favorite finalist at

The finalist with the most votes will be winner. The champion will be officially announced February 18th as part of the Rare Disease Month celebration.

The 2016 Rare Disease Champion will be honored as part of the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala on March 11th in Atlantic City, New Jersey at the Tropicana.

Of the seven previous Rare Disease Champion winners, four were FBS players, one FBS player, a Division III quarterback and an administrator from AFCA.

Former Auburn and current Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Sammie Coates was the 2015 Rare Disease Champion.

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