STAMFORD, Conn. -- Aaron Pettiford, senior running back for Westhill High School in Stamford, was given the UCAN Inspire Award by Generation UCAN and the Walter Camp Football Foundation on Thursday at the Breakfast of Champions Football Banquet.
The UCAN inspire Award is given to a Connecticut High School Football Player who symbolizes the core value on which Generation UCAN was founded: The unwavering desire to find success in the face of a great challenge.
Pettiford was also recognized earlier in the season as a 2015 recipient of the Heart of a Giant Award.
According to Westhill head football coach Frank Marcucio, Pettiford was nominated because of the personal challenges he has overcome in battling a rare kidney disorder since November 2012.
Pettiford's condition, known as focal glomerulosclerosis, is a chronic kidney disease, which gained recognition when former NBA star Alonzo Mourning battled it several years ago. The disease, which damages the blood vessels of kidneys used in filtering waste, has progressed to the point where Pettiford has been placed on the waiting list for a kidney transplant at Yale-New Haven Hospital.
“Aaron has been an inspiration to his teammates and classmates at Westhill, and his story has certainly caught the attention of people across Connecticut, like those at Generation UCAN,” said Marcucio. “He is a great kid who has dealt with and overcome numerous personal obstacles and adversities in order to compete at a high level.”
Pettiford's story was aired across Connecticut on CPTV and then picked up nationally by USA Today earlier in the football season. He is the second Viking football player to receive this award in the last three years. Former Viking Captain Evan Skoparantzos was the 2014 recipient of the Award.
Pettiford will receive the award Saturday at the Breakfast of Champions Banquet as part of the Walter Camp weekend at the Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale.
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