From the practice field to the patients of the Neonatal Intensive Care unit at St. E's, a few Husker football players are visiting some of their smallest and most fragile fans.
While they can't tell us just how excited they are, their parents sure can. "I think that he was excited! He kept his eyes open and he was happy to see them and I think it's really nice that they're showing support for families with little guys who are sick," said Morgan and Carter Kuhnke of Beatrice.
On the football field, C.J. Zimmerer is a hard-hitting fullback. Off the field, he's the University's Uplifting Athletes President. The non-profit organization helps to raise awareness for rare diseases and this is the University of Nebraska's first year taking part.
"I was lucky enough that my teammates picked me to lead the group. It's a real honor and I'm just trying to take it in stride and do the most that we can," said Zimmerer.
For some of these families, the road now is a rough one, but with the support of athletes like Zimmerer, they find hope. Soon, some of these little ones could be taking the field, cheerleading for the girls and football for the boys.
"I hope so! That'd be a good dream come true. We're going to start him early and hopefully speed him up a little bit and have him in the back field following Burkhead's steps. That'd be alright too," said Shane and Kyler Schneider of York.
While these families help their little ones grow bigger and stronger, Zimmerer says the group will do the same. "I think it's going to be a really successful thing for all the guys and all the people that we're trying to help."
At this time, 14 different universities are participating tin Uplifting Athletes. The Huskers are focusing their efforts on raising awareness for pediatric brain cancer.
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