Portions courtesy of Princeton Athletic Communications
CAMP HILL, Pa. -- Princeton's Jordan Culbreath was named of one five finalists or the 2011 Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion Award along with North Carolina State Offensive Coordinator Dana Bible, UCLA Running Back Derrick Coleman, Minnesota Head Coach Jerry Kill and Wisconsin Quarterback Scott Tolzien.
Culbreath, a unanimous first-team All-Ivy selection in 2008, was diagnosed with aplastic anemia early during the 2009 season, a rare disease in which the immune system attacks bone marrow and prevents it from making necessary blood cells. Culbreath was an inspiration for his teammates as he worked his way back onto the field and was named co-captain for the 2010 season; he competed eight games before suffering a knee injury, but his performance earned him All-Ivy honorable mention. He was also an inspiration to the rare disease community. By using the blog CaringBridge.org, Culbreath was able to reach out to other players, families and complete strangers inspired by his story.
The honor is presented annually to recognize a leader in the world of college football who has realized their potential to make a positive and lasting impact on the rare disease community. More than 30 million Americans are affected by rare diseases.
The third annual award winner will be determined by an online vote beginning Tuesday, February 1. The Champion will be announced at a public awards ceremony at the end of the month with details to be released at a later date. Previous winners include American Football Coaches Association Executive Director, Grant Teaff (2009); and Dickinson College Quarterback, Ian Mitchell (2010).
To read each finalist's personal story and cast your vote for this year's Champion, log onto: www.upliftingathletes.org/vote.
About Uplifting Athletes:
Uplifting Athletes is a full service national nonprofit organization aligning college football with rare diseases and raising them as a national priority through research, outreach, education and advocacy. What makes Uplifting Athletes unique is that our university chapters are run by current football student-athletes, providing them with an opportunity to gain management and leadership skills while learning how to leverage their assets and abilities to make a positive and lasting impact. Each chapter adopts one out of approximately 7,000 rare diseases (such as ALS, Aplastic Anemia, CMT, cystic fibrosis, Ehlers-Danlos, Ewing's Sarcoma, Kidney Cancer, Leukemia, MS, Neimann Pick Type-C, Neuroblastoma, pancreatic cancer, etc.).