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Former Syracuse punter Rob Long shares his story through cancer, Uplifting Athletes

Long appears on today to talk about his fight and life since.

Syracuse v Washington Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Once upon a time, you knew former Syracuse Orange punter Rob Long for a Heisman campaign that we still stand behind. But since then, he’s been fighting a much different battle.

In 2010, Long was diagnosed with grade III anaplastic astrocytoma, a rare form of brain cancer. Eight years later, he’s one of just 15 percent of those diagnosed who’s alive longer than five years afterward.

Long’s story in that time is not just one of overcoming a rare disease, but one of trying to give back since. He wrote for today about his work with Uplifting Athletes, where he’s the director of rare disease engagement. The organization has an annual event at SU, Lift for Life. This weekend, they’ll be at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field rewarding $60,000 in medical grants.

While we wish Rob could’ve pursued his NFL dream, it’s cool to see him making an impact like this. Looking forward to your continued health and success, Rob. And good luck continuing to help those suffering from rare disease diagnoses.

The rest of your Syracuse-related links below:

Brain cancer derailed this NFL prospect’s dreams. Now he has a new mission. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

As an executive at Uplifting Athletes, a nonprofit devoted to applying the power of sport to inspire those with rare diseases, I try to live my life to honor my incredible fortune. It’s certainly not easy living with the knowledge that my cancer may not remain dormant, but I accept the challenge and understand that each day I am blessed just to be here.

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