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Monday January 7, 2013Neiron Ball Named Finalist for Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion Award

Gainesville, Fla.

Redshirt sophomore linebacker Neiron Ball (Jackson, Ga.) has been named one of seven finalists for the Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion Award, announced by the organization on Monday. 


Ball returned to the field this season after being diagnosed with a rare condition known as arteriorvenous malformation (AVM) in the spring of 2010. AVM is a condition where blood vessels in the brain become tangled and rupture.  Ball underwent numerous surgeries and a lengthy recovery but overcame the odds as he played in 11 games for the Gators in 2012, making two starts. He recorded 10 tackles, 0.5 sacks, an interception, pass breakup, two quarterback hits and recovered two fumbles.


The award is presented annually to recognize a leader in the world of college football who has realized his or her potential to make a positive and lasting impact on the rare disease community.  More than 30-million Americans are affected by rare diseases.


The 5th annual award winner will be determined by an online vote beginning Monday, January 7th and ending January 31st at 11:59 p.m. EST. The 2013 Champion will be announced February 1st.  The winner will be presented the Rare Disease.  To read about each finalist’s personal story and connection to the rare disease community, as well as to cast your vote for this year’s champion, log onto:



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