The Notre Dame Football team is holding its first event for its new chapter of Uplifting Athletes, an organization that helps fight rare diseases through the sport of football.
The Irish are inviting fans to bowl with them Sunday to raise money to fight Osteosarcoma, a rare cancer.
Osteosarcoma hits close to home to the Irish because of their connection to Middlebury teenager Sam Grewe. You may remember our story on Sam from December and January.
The Irish adopted Sam back in the fall and he was present during all home games while he continued to fight osteosarcoma.
"That just added a personal face for us," says Irish linebacker Joe Schmidt who heads the Irish chapter. "In the beginning, we honestly didn't know what disease we were going to pick, and then we met Sam and I think we all kind of related to him from day one. Seeing his highlight tape and watching him just absolutely dominate people. A lot of us were like hey that was us when we were 13 years old, which was when he was diagnosed, and so it made it a real personal thing for all of the guys involved and the whole team really rallied around it and so it has been really easy for us to find that extra motivation to understand why this is so necessary and why it is so important."
The disease caused Sam to lose part of his leg.
But the great news is that Sam just recently won his battle in February and is now cancer free. He's like a little brother to the football team.
"He's a funny funny kid," Schmidt says. "I had dinner with him two nights ago and I still talk to him all the time and I think just the kind of kid he is--he's funny, he gets along with everyone, he's kind, he's always positive, tough...I think he is the kind of kid that everyone has to associate with."
The first ever bowling event to fight osteosarcoma is Sunday from 10am-1pm at Strikes and Spares in Mishawaka. There are still spots open to sign up. Fans get an opportunity to bowl with two Irish players for an hour. The cost is $100.
"I think it's going to be really fun," Schmidt says of the bowling event. "I think it's going to be exciting for me to start getting the word out about Sam, his fight, how he overcame it, how we can help raise awareness and money for it and at the same time it's going to be a fun day with the fans to get out there and see if I can bowl a couple of strikes--not so sure what my score is going to be! But it should be fun and we will see how the guys play!"
A good majority of the football team will be there to participate, unfortunately Sam and his family will be missing the event because they will be on vacation in South Carolina.
if you want to bowl with the Irish and donate towards a good cause, you can sign up here