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Notre Dame football team trades pigskins for pins for a cause

MISHAWAKA, Ind. -- The Notre Dame football team stepped off the field and into the bowling alley, to play with some of their young fans who suffer from rare diseases. 

The team hosted their fourth annual fundraiser to raise money and awareness for rare diseases that plague many across the nation, and in Michiana.

Tim Kern and his 7-year-old daughter, Hope, spent the morning at the bowling alley.

"Less than 40 people in the world has what she has," says Kern.

They were one of the many families rolling spikes and spares, all belonging to a very special Michiana community.

It's a community of children who live with rare diseases.

They were joined by the Notre Dame football team.

"It's very neat to see this, especially because there's not a lot of research for really rare diseases. There's just no one to champion those diseases because it's so rare," explains Kern. "It's been great because Notre Dame has really helped us."

"We host different events for awareness and money. We pull a lot of money together for research for rare diseases," adds Keenan Centlivre, a wide receiver for the Fighting Irish.

He was the organizer for this year's bowling benefit, but says it's more than just raising some money.

"My favorite part is actually seeing the people from years past, coming back. You kind of form a relationship with them and you're more than just a football player," explains Centlivre. "You're a person in the community and it's nice develop a relationship with the people who are out there supporting you."

Although this is the Kern family's first time bowling with the Division One athletes, it won't be the last. 

"Just seeing my daughter have fun," Kern says about his favorite part.

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