What is the 22 Oats Strong Foundation?


Kentucky linebacker Chris Oats celebrates during the Belk Bowl against Virginia Tech on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019, at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. Kentucky won 37-30. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

Barkley Truax

Friends and family of Chris Oats, the former Kentucky football player who suffered a stroke before the beginning of the 2020 season, have formed the 22 Oats Strong Foundation, UK Athletics announced Friday.

The foundation was formed to support the families of impaired children in situations similar to the one Oats is in now.

“Having seen first-hand the struggles and heartaches the Oats family has had to endure since Chris’ stroke in 2020, I knew I wanted to be a part of something that could help others so they wouldn’t have to go through the same thing,” Susan Lax, 22 Oats Strong Foundation President said. “This foundation is set up to do just that and we are excited to see what our future holds.”

The organization is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) founded off the back of Oats’ families fundraising efforts to help purchase a van to help transport Oats around with ease due to the fact his mobility is limited to a wheelchair at the moment.

Kentucky fans helped raise $166,192 for the van, which brought up the idea that  if Big Blue Nation alone are willing to help out the Oats family in such a generous manor—what if they spread the love?

Funds donated to the 22 Oats Strong Foundation will help provide a path allowing families going through struggles to focus on spending quality time with their loved ones, by minimizing financial stress,” the UK Athletics release said.

Before suffering a stroke before last season, Oats, who was 20 at the time saw action in all Kentucky football games during the 2019 season. He ended the season with 46 tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss. Oats is majoring in community and leadership development, with hopes become a sports analyst one day.

If you would like to donate to the foundation, you can do so online at 22OatsStrong.org or by mailing a check payable to “22 Oats Strong Foundation“ to: 

135 W Main St.

Suite 300

Lexington, KY 40507

“On the memo line of the check, indicate that the donation is for “22 Oats Strong Foundation.” Donations are tax-deductible,” the release said.