Jul 8, 2013, 1:05 PM EDT
Sam Grewe’s name may not mean anything to you, and until last week it meant nothing to me. Then I sat down with Notre Dame football player Joe Schmidt.
‘Sam is the bravest person I know … Sam is always smiling … Sam is strong” These are just a few of the things that Schmidt said when I spoke with him last week regarding Sam, a 15-year old Osteosarcoma patient that the Irish football team adopted in recent years.
Notre Dame’s affiliation with the Uplifting Athletes organization started a few years back with Nick Lezynski spearheading the partnership. Once Lezynski graduated, he passed the reins to Schmidt who is taking it to the next level.
“I had no idea what the organization was when Nick asked me to help out, I did some research and just learned that this was just an awesome cause” said Schmidt. “This was even before we had adopted Sam as a team, it was just worthwhile and something I could do throughout college to give back and help people.”
When Schmidt began working with this organization, they had yet to adopt a single individual as a teammate… Then they met Sam.
“Sam put a face on Osteosarcoma for us, it just showed how bad Osteosarcoma actually is” said Lezynski. “He would do chemo, he would be stuck in the hospital all day wearing a mask. He is just the epitome of toughness and perseverance.”
Osteosarcoma is the most common type of cancer that begins in the bone and primarily targets people in their teenage years. Osteosarcoma as a whole is found on a small scale, but touches hundreds of thousands of people.
Schmidt along with a bevy of his teammates are hosting a charity bowling outing on July 14 at Strikes and Spares in South Bend, Ind., to help raise funds for Osteosarcoma. With the donation and registration you will get to play with members of the Notre Dame football, get pictures and autographs and learn about this disease. (REGISTER HERE)
Sam means a lot to the members of the football team as he has showed them strength, compassion, humor and joy whenever they meet with him. When asked what Sam means to him, Schmidt took a second and poignantly said…
“Sam is always so optimistic and always laughing … I love Sam.”
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