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Josh Paschal named to Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion Team

Paschal is being honored for his bravery and perseverance through his battle with melanoma.

Jason Marcum - Sea of Blue

Kentucky Wildcats linebacker Josh Paschal has been named one of five members to the inaugural Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion Team.

This team recognize leaders in college football that have made a positive and lasting impact on the Rare Disease Community, and there’s no question Pascal deserved a spot after what he’s overcome over the last year.

In the summer of 2018, Paschal was diagnosed malignant melanoma on the bottom of his foot. He’s since underwent three surgeries and monthly immunotherapy treatments for more than a year.

“We feel strongly that our obligation to the Rare Disease Community is to share the powerful and compelling stories of people inside college football who have lived the rare disease journey, as patients and advocates,” Uplifting Athletes Executive Director Rob Long said in a press release. “I believe this will be the start of a tradition recognizing those in college football like Josh who are inspiring, serving and supporting those who need it the most.”

Paschal eventually returned for the final three games of the 2018 season, and he’s been a key cog in Kentucky’s defense this year. In 12 games, he has 34 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, two fumbles, one pass breakup and one blocked kick for the 7-5 Wildcats.

Joining Paschal on the team are Kent State receiver Antwan Dixon, Davidson linebacker George Hatalowich, Syracuse offensive lineman Sam Heckel, and Penn student assistant Anthony Lotti.