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June 26, 2014

media-icon-photogallery.gif Lift for Life Photo Gallery

COLUMBIA, S.C. – For the second consecutive year, the Gamecock football team participated in a one-hour workout at the USC Fieldhouse to raise awareness for Pelizaeus Merzbacher, The Gamecocks participated in a series of workouts. The event was coordinated by redshirt seniors Jordan Diaz and Connor McLaurin as well as redshirt freshman defensive end Devin Washington.

“It’s really exciting to be here at South Carolina and see it grow, said Scott Shirley, Executive Director for Uplifting Athletes. “This year we have 25 major college football programs participating in Uplifting Athletes events. They are planned and organized by the current football student-athletes.”

Lift For Life is the signature fundraising event for the Uplifting Athletes nationwide network of 25 college football student-athlete led chapters. The Gamecock Chapter continues its mission of raising awareness and research dollars for the rare disease Pelizaeus Merzbacher, the chosen rare disease of the South Carolina Chapter. PMD is a rare central nervous system disorder in which coordination, motor abilities and intellectual function are delayed to variable extents. Current Gamecock tailback Devin Potter’s cousin suffers from the disease.

“It creates a little variety for them and the guys look forward to it, they have been talking about it all week,” director of football strength & conditioning coach Joe Connolly. “They know what to expect, they know what is coming and they know they are doing it for a good cause.”

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 Aplastic Anemia, cystic fibrosis, pediatric brain cancer, kidney cancer, Leukemia, Neimann Pick Type-C, Neuroblastoma,, Fanconi anemia, etc.). For more information about Uplifting Athletes, visit

“Our goal is to raise awareness and $5,000 for a rare disease that a family member of a teammate is battling,” South Carolina Chapter Vice President Jordan Diaz, a redshirt senior fullback from Hamilton, N.J., said. “For our fans who couldn’t join us, you can still support either our offense or defense team by visiting our donation page.”

In order to donate to the South Carolina Lift For Life and help the team reach its $5,000 goal please visit the donation page at