Penn Chapter holds successful inaugural Lift For Life as part of Iron Quaker

Tuesday, March 08, 2016
Andy Shay

This time of year is always special for the Penn football program with the Iron Quaker lifting competition serving as the official end to winter workouts.

The Penn Chapter of Uplifting Athletes chose to double down and rolled its inaugural Lift For Life event into part of the Iron Quaker in support of the rare disease community.

Lift For Life is the signature rare disease awareness and fundraising event for the Uplifting Athletes Chapter network of 25 college football student-athlete led chapters nationwide.

Each Uplifting Athletes Chapter has its own unique rare disease inspiration, but also works serves as a teammate for the rare disease community to help inspire others with hope through the power of sport.

The Penn Chapter started tackling rare diseases in 2015 when it joined Uplifting Athletes. The student-athlete led Penn Chapter serves the rare disease community in honor of fellow Quakers Dr. David Fajgenbaum, Kaleb Germinaro and honorary captain Vhito DeCapria.

Dr. Fajgenbaum founded Castleman Disease Collaborative Network, a charitable partner with Uplifting Athletes, and is a rare disease research doctor and patient. Germinaro is a Penn wide receiver who is battling multiple sclerosis and can’t play but has remained a part of the team. DeCapria is a four-year-old pediatric cancer patient who the Quakers adopted in 2015 during their run to a share of the Ivy League crown.

“It’s incredible using our position as Division I football players to impact other people’s lives in a positive way in addition to living out our own dreams,” Penn Chapter President Sam Tullman said. “Now that we’re raising money for all rare diseases, we have a concept of what that means and how we are impacting more individual people.”

The Penn Chapter used the Iron Quaker as the platform of its Lift For Life and broke down its fundraising into eight position groups to create an element of competition.

As you would expect, the Penn offensive lineman were out front in terms of pounds lifted and the amount they raised per pound. All total the Penn Chapter raised more than $5,700 for Uplifting Athletes to benefit the rare disease community through its patient and research focused programs.

“With the whole transition to more rare diseases being included we think that’s even better,” Penn Chapter Director of Internal Relations Tyrone Quarterman said. “This is a great opportunity to help out those who have been affected that are part of us. But we can also show we care about rare diseases in general because playing football is a blessing and it not about just us.”