The Uplifting Athletes’ touchdown pledge drive raised $13,536 for rare disease awareness and research this weekend.
Uplifting Athletes was founded in 2003 by Scott Shirley, a Penn State football player whose dad was diagnosed with kidney cancer. This form of cancer was considered a rare disease due to its high mortality rate and the fact that the afflicted community was too small to draw significant research and development.
Beginning in 2003, the team rallied around Shirley in an effort to make a change. Since its founding, Uplifting Athletes has aimed to inspire the rare disease community and raise money for the cause.
Prior to Penn State’s blowout over the Georgia State Panthers, 104 people gathered to pledge to donate a total of $1,692 per touchdown. Originally, Uplifting Athletes projected the Lions would score five touchdowns against Georgia State – but thankfully, they were wrong.
Eight separate players scored touchdowns on Saturday night, including Uplifting Athletes chapter leader Trace McSorely, who rushed for an eight-yard score late in the second quarter.
The initiative will accept one-time donations through the end of this week– just in time for James Franklin and the Nittany Lions’ Big Ten opener against Iowa on Saturday night.