About Uplifting Athletes
Uplifting Athletes is a national nonprofit organization aligning college football with rare diseases and raising them as a national priority through outreach, research, education and advocacy. What makes Uplifting Athletes unique is that our chapter network is run by current football student-athletes, providing them with an opportunity to gain practical job skills while learning how to leverage their assets and abilities to make a positive and lasting impact.
A rare disease is one that affects fewer than 200,000 Americans and consequently lacks financial incentive to make and market new treatments. Each chapter adopts one out of approximately 7,000 rare diseases (such as MS, ALS, cystic fibrosis, pancreatic cancer, etc.) – giving the football student-athletes an opportunity to make the cause relevant to them. We currently have chapters at Penn State, Ohio State, Maryland, Boston College, Colgate, NC State, Northwestern, Kent State and Princeton, in addition to an event we did in association with the University of Florida.
The success of this initial effort, college football’s lack of a cause-marketing relationship and the overwhelming needs of the rare disease community has led to the evolution of Uplifting Athletes. We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit with four primary service programs – outreach, research, education and advocacy. The benefits to the college football student-athletes include the aspects of professional development and social engagement. We are currently expanding our network of university chapters within select major football programs. University chapters of Uplifting Athletes are set-up as registered student organizations, run by current football student-athletes and benefit a rare disease that is relevant to their team. Each chapter plans and hosts special events to help make their rare disease more popular.