Our Mission

Our Programs

Leverage public interest to cultivate resources that accelerate scientific advancements for rare diseases

Develops social influencers into leaders that make a positive impact on the rare disease community

Uplifting Leaders

Shares the platform of sport with the rare disease cause and raises it as a national priority

Creates special moments that enrich the lives of rare disease patients and their loved ones

Uplifting Experiences

Our Motivation

1 in 10 Americans will be diagnosed with a Rare Disease

A Rare Disease is one that affects fewer than 200,000 Americans at any given time.

7,000

Approximate number of different rare diseases that collectively affect more than 30 million Americans.

Rare diseases are often chronic, progressive, degenerative and life-threatening.

75%

of rare diseases affect children

30%

of children with a rare disease will not live to see their 5th birthday.

Fundraising Initiatives

Lift For Life

Lift For Life is the original fundraising event that
launched Uplifitng Athletes! The event was
inspired by Don Shirley's battle with a rare
cancer. Now, college football teams across the
country participate in the right-of-passage to
benefit the rare disease community!

$58,454.79 Amount Raised
57 Campaigns
Lift For Life

Touchdown Pledge Drive

Touchdown Pledge Drive brings awareness and helps raise funds while capitalizing on what our students-athletes do best during our most visible time of the year, college football season.

$25,409.68 Amount Raised
15 Teams

UA Ambassadors

The UA Ambassador program empowers individual athletes to support the Rare Disease Community by raising money and awareness with their performance. Opportunities include Reps for Rare Diseases at the NFL Combine and/or Pro Day workouts, the NFL's My Cause, My Cleats campaign, and anything else you can imagine!

$67,188.76 Amount Raised
60 Campaigns
Penn State's Mike Gesicki at the NFL Combine

Team UA

We are inviting athletes from across the country to support our mission by holding a pledge-based event to raise money for Uplifting Athletes. This program is open to all sports and all levels! Simply click create your campaign below to get started and a member of our staff will reach out to you to help make it a success.

$35,799.40 Amount Raised
43 Campaigns

Uplifting Events & Awareness Campaigns

My Cause, My Cleats
Rare Disease Champion
Young Investigator Draft
Reps for Rare Diseases

My Cause, My Cleats

Date: Weeks 13-15 2018
Location: NFL Stadiums

 

Rare Disease Champion

Date: December 6, 2018
Location: College Football Hall of Fame (Atlanta, GA)

 

Young Investigator Draft

Date:
Location:

Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia experienced a Rare Disease Community takeover on March 9, 2019 when Uplifting Athletes hosted its 2nd Young Investigator Draft presented by CSL Behring.

Reps for Rare Diseases

Date: February-March 2019
Location: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN

 

Uplifting News

Posted on Thursday May 16, 2019
The Northwestern Chapter of Uplifting Athletes will hold its annual Lift For Life to support the Rare Disease Community on Friday, May 24 at 4:00 p.m. Lift For Life is the signature fundraising event for the Northwestern Chapter of Uplifting Athletes. Northwestern is a part of Uplifting Athletes’ nationwide network of chapters led by college […] Continue Reading »
Posted on Tuesday May 14, 2019
This was a busy spring with seven chapters holding Lift For Life events in support of Uplifting Athletes and its mission to inspire the Rare Disease Community with hope through the power of sport. Penn, Stony Brook, Saint Francis, Davidson, Lehigh, Marist and Princeton, all FCS college football programs, recently held their annual Lift For […] Continue Reading »
Posted on Friday May 03, 2019
The Princeton Chapter of Uplifting Athletes will hold its annual Lift For Life to support the Rare Disease Community on Tuesday, May 7th. Lift For Life is the signature fundraising event for the Princeton Chapter of Uplifting Athletes. Princeton is a part of Uplifting Athletes’ nationwide network of chapters led by college football student-athletes. Each […] Continue Reading »
Posted on Monday April 29, 2019
Earlier this year, Uplifting Athletes partnered with 56 NFL prospects to give them their first opportunity to share their new platform as professional athletes to inspire others with hope and to support the Rare Disease Community. When the stakes were the highest in their football lives, these NFL prospects made a choice to pledge their […] Continue Reading »
Posted on Wednesday April 24, 2019
Uplifting Athletes is pleased to have Marist College join the nationwide network of chapters led by college football student-athletes. Each chapter embraces the mission of Uplifting Athletes by using college football as a platform to inspire the Rare Disease Community with hope through the power of sport. Today, the challenges faced by the Rare Disease […] Continue Reading »
Posted on Wednesday April 24, 2019
Former University of Illinois star offensive lineman Nick Allegretti was awarded the prestigious Big Ten Conference Medal of Honor recently as part of the annual Fighting Illini Oskee Awards celebration. This year marks the 105th anniversary of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, awarded annually to one male and one female student-athlete from the graduating […] Continue Reading »
Posted on Monday April 22, 2019
There are many ways the Uplifting Athletes nationwide network of chapter’s use their platform to inspire the Rare Disease Community. Shining a spotlight on the more than 30 million Americans affected by rare diseases is part of each chapter’s mission. Five years ago, the Penn State Chapter started raising awareness by wearing Uplifting Athletes stickers […] Continue Reading »
Posted on Wednesday April 17, 2019
Uplifting Athletes is pleased to have Lehigh University join the nationwide network of chapters led by college football student-athletes holding Lift For Life events in 2019. The Mountain Hawks will hold their inaugural Lift For Life to support the Rare Disease Community on Tuesday, April 30 at 4:30 p.m. outside the University Center. The event […] Continue Reading »
Posted on Monday April 15, 2019
The Davidson Chapter of Uplifting Athletes will hold its second annual Lift For Life to support the Rare Disease Community on Thursday, April 25th. Lift For Life is the signature fundraising event for the Davidson Chapter of Uplifting Athletes. Davidson is a part of Uplifting Athletes’ nationwide network of chapters led by college football student-athletes. […] Continue Reading »
Posted on Tuesday April 02, 2019
During a pivotal time in their football lives, more than 50 NFL prospects used their first opportunities as professional athletes to give back. The Uplifting Athletes 2019 Reps For Rare Diseases showcased these athletes in a month-long campaign that kicked off in late February with the NFL Combine and ran through March with individual NFL […] Continue Reading »

Key Leadership

Chapter Leaders

NC State - Thomas Ruocchio
Princeton - Luke Aschenbrand
Stony Brook - Zach Lucas
Clemson - Will Spiers
Colgate - Triston Fairchild
Davidson - George Hatalowich
Florida State - Alec Eberle
Clemson - Jack Maddox
Stony Brook - Joe Detorie
Illinois - Bobby Walker
Maryland - Sean Christie
Northwestern - Peter Snodgrass
Notre Dame - Chris Schilling
Penn - Michael Rolfe
Penn State - Sean Clifford
Penn State - Chris Stoll
Saint Francis - Nick Rinella
Syracuse - Sam Heckel
Western Michigan - Justin Tranquill
NC State - Dylan Autenrieth
Davidson - Kevin Stipe
Florida State - DeCalon Brooks
Florida State - Landon Dickerson
Northwestern - Joe Spivak
Syracuse - Nolan Cooney
Penn - Hunter Hayes

Staff

Robert M. Long Executive Director
Brett Brackett General Manager
Andrew P. Shay Communications
John M. Trzeciak Business Manager
Karen Kirkpatrick Director of Finance

Board

Scott Shirley
Keith Deaven
David Wozniak
Kerwin Stetler
Tiffini Grimes

UA Lettermen

Obi Egekeze
Obi Egekeze
Chris Borland
Jake Smith
Jake Smith
Jeff Wasilewski
Jeff Wasilewski
Mark Herzlich
Mark Herzlich
Brett Brackett

#WeTackleRare

Corporate Champions

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Deloitte
CSL Behring
Mediabarn