The Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team is hoping to raise $18,000 for rare disease research during its second annual Lift for Life Friday.
The Lift for Life is the primary fundraising event of the Notre Dame chapter of Uplifting Athletes, which was created in 2012 by former Irish linebacker Joe Schmidt. Schmidt was inspired by the story of Sam Grewe, who overcame an osteosarcoma diagnosis and amputation of his right leg to become a Paralympic medalist and Notre Dame student.
“It is an honor to be able to use our platform to help raise awareness and support Uplifting Athletes and the Rare Disease Community,” said Jimmy Thompson, a linebacker and Notre Dame chapter president, said in a news release. “We are all proud to be part of a team that is working so hard to tackle rare diseases.”
Uplifting Athletes, which supports four charitable programs related to rare diseases, is the benefactor of the contributions.
Like last year, there are eight fundraising teams who will compete on Friday.
Team Bars: Mick Assaf, Alex Bars, Liam Eichenberg, Lincoln Feist, Colin Grunhard, Nolan Henry, Micah Jones, Troy Pride Jr., Jahmir Smith, Jimmy Thompson, Drew White, Tariq Bracy, Noah Boykin and Mike Vinson.
Team Coney: Aaron Banks, Bo Bauer, J.D. Carney, Nick Coleman, Te’von Coney, Alohi Gilman, Brandon Hutson, Jamir Jones, Alize Mack, Devin Studstill, Justin Yoon, Justin Ademilola and Cole Mabry.
Team Mustipher: Chase Claypool, Jonathan Doerer, Jordan Genmark Heath, Jack Henige, Josh Lugg, John Mahoney, Sam Mustipher, Adetokunbo Ogundeji, Logan Plantz, George Takacs, Donte Vaughn, Kevin Austin, Phil Jurkovec and Greg Mailey.
Team Newsome: Cameron Ekanayake, Houston Griffith, Daelin Hayes, Kurt Hinish, Jonathan Jones, Tommy Kraemer, D.J. Morgan, Tyler Newsome, Ovie Oghoufo, Christopher Schilling, John Shannon, Derrik Allen, Lawrence Keys III and Max Siegel.
Team Tillery: Jafar Armstrong, Ian Book, Miles Boykin, Micah Dew-Treadway, Nicco Fertitta, Chris Finke, Dillan Gibbons, Arion Shinaver, Devyn Spruell, Jerry Tillery, Brock Wright, John Dirksen, C’Borious Flemister and Cody Benjamin.
Team Tranquill: Asmar Bilal, Jalen Elliott, Cole Kmet, Jack Lamb, Xavier Lezynski, Julian Okwara, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Patrick Pelini, Drue Tranquill, Kofi Wardlow, Jarrett Patterson, Paul Moala and D.J. Brown.
Team Weishar: Temitope Agoro, Jonathan Bonner, Avery Davis, Tony Jones, Khalid Kareem, Javon McKinley, Jeff Riney, Trevor Ruhland, Nic Weishar, Michael Young, Ja’Mion Franklin, Braden Lenzy, Shayne Simon and Joe Wilkins Jr.
Team Wimbush: Brian Ball, Shaun Crawford, Darnell Ewell, Robert Hainsey, Julian Love, Robert Regan, Isaiah Robertson, Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, Dexter Williams, Jayson Ademilola, Luke Jones and Tommy Tremble. (Quarterback Brandon Wimbush is not listed, but I’m going to assume he is on the team named after him.)
Last year, the Lift for Life at Notre Dame raised $17,457.65. Team Nelson, captained by now-Indianapolis Colts offensive lineman Quenton Nelson, was the top finisher. They raised $5,859, with Keenan Centlivre doing most of the heavy lifting on the fundraising front.
While the challenge was leg press last year, it’s not clear what muscle group is being worked out Friday.
The Irish also hosted a bowling event, which they’ve been organizing since 2014, as an “uplifting experience” for rare disease patients.