About Penn State University Uplifting Athletes
Uplifting Athletes is a national nonprofit that uses college football as a platform to inspire the rare disease community with hope through the power of sport.
Our nationwide network of college football student-athlete led university chapters help bring the vision of Uplifting Athletes to life; which is to empower people to take action against rare diseases and inspires the medical community to find cures.
Each Uplifting Athletes Chapter has its own unique rare disease inspiration, but also serves as a teammate for the rare disease community to help inspire others with hope through the power of sport.
College football players at each university chapter hold special events, fundraising campaigns and awareness drives to shine a spotlight on rare diseases and raise funds for Uplifting Athletes to benefit the rare disease community.
The challenges faced by the rare disease community are bigger than any one individual, team or organization can tackle alone. The grassroots effort of the Penn State Chapter helps educate the local community and provides individual patients with a life changing experience.
The Penn State Chapter is the charter Uplifting Athletes Chapter and started what has become a nationwide movement in 2003.
Uplifting Athletes founder Scott Shirley was playing football for Penn State and learned his father was diagnosed with kidney cancer and that it was classified as a rare disease since the mortality rate was so high and therefore there was not a large enough patient community to attract research and development.
When one of Shirley’s Nittany Lion teammates learned of these challenges, he suggested that they do something since they were in a position to shine their spotlight on those who needed a voice. The PSU team rallied around the idea of leveraging a summer strength and conditioning competition into a fund raising event called Lift For Life. They soon realized that the benefits of this new organization were far greater than they had imagined.
Penn State has run a Lift For Life as part of Uplifting Athletes every year since 2003.
Thanks for helping the Penn State Chapter of Uplifting Athletes tackle rare diseases. Together…We Are…Stronger!