There is still time for one last Oklahoma Sooners football player to receive a post-season award. In case you hadn’t heard, junior offensive lineman, Austin Woods was one of seven players nominated for the 2013 Rare Disease Champion Award. The award is presented by the Uplifting Athletes Organization.
The Rare Disease Champion Award is given out to college football players who have the opportunity to make a positive impact in the rare disease community. The Uplifting Athletes allows the players to raise awareness through the community, outreach, research, education and advocacy. Each chapter in the organization is currently run by football student-athletes.
If you aren’t aware of Austin’s story — Out of the blue, Woods suddenly was suffering from a sore throat and then the glands in his neck started to swell back when Spring practices first began. After a routine doctors visit and countless tests, he was told that he had Stage 3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma. After Spring practices concluded, Woods started going to Stephenson Cancer Center in Oklahoma City to receive chemotherapy every other week for four hours a visit.
Woods continued his chemo treatments throughout the season, never missing a game due to the cancer. He received his last chemo treatment at the beginning of October and was told a month later that he was now in remission. Even with what he battling, he made the Academic All-Big 12 First Team for the second year in a row.
If you want to learn more about the seven athletes who are nominated and take the time to vote, you can do so at the organization’s website. Voting runs until January 31st, and the winner will be announced on February 1st.