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UAB Athletics | September 27, 2017

Blazers honoring ailing patients by putting their names on jerseys

  UAB football is taking its commitment to its community seriously.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – To honor and memorialize the children and their families served by Children's Harbor located one block off of UAB's campus, the Blazer football team will wear the names of patients on the back of their jerseys for UAB's Homecoming game vs. Louisiana Tech.

"Children's Harbor has absolutely become a part of the Blazer family," said head coach Bill Clark. "I intend for this relationship to grow with our program. As we build, there will be even more we can do to provide encouragement and a positive distraction to support the terrific work Children's Harbor does."

The UAB football team adopted Children's Harbor as one of their community charities in 2016 and the Blazers make regularly scheduled trips to the hospital to build relations and encourage patients.

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Children's Harbor serves seriously ill children and their families through unique, no-cost services at the Family Center inside the Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children in Birmingham, and at the camp facility at Lake Martin in Alexander City, Ala.

"The joy and enthusiasm that Coach Clark and the UAB players bring to the Children's Harbor families is palpable and brings a level of healing that is truly beyond our ability alone," Children's Harbor CEO Myrle Grate said.

The 100 game jerseys will be presented to each child and their family after the game. 

A section of Legion Field will be filled with honored Children's Harbor families to cheer on the Blazers and the 100 players participating in this heartfelt project. For these families to be together in a joyful, carefree setting allows them to put aside – for a few hours – the everyday realities of doctor visits, stress and fatigue that comes with caring for a child who has serious chronic illness.

"Recognizing these children and their families is a way for UAB to show our support and to let them know they are not in this fight alone," said Director of Athletic Mark Ingram. "It is going to be a special day at Legion Field at our Homecoming game on Oct. 7 and we hope everyone will join us to take part in something truly unique."

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