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Uplifting Athletes Reaches $1 Million Raised For Kidney Cancer Research

Penn State’s Chapter for Uplifting Athletes has now raised $1 million for kidney cancer research, becoming the first university to reach this prestigious milestone.

Since the first Penn State Lift For Life in 2003, Penn State football student-athletes have graciously devoted their time and effort to helping raise money for kidney cancer by toiling through a day of grueling workouts and weight lifting in the summer heat. Kidney cancer is expected to claim the lives of an estimated 13,860 people this year in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society. Each year, an estimated 63,920 people are diagnosed with the disease.

Under the guidance of current Chapter President and Penn State senior linebacker Ben Kline, the Penn State Chapter raised a record $151,990 this past year for kidney cancer research.

“This is a day that I’ve looked forward to for a long time,” said Scott Shirley, Penn State Chapter founder, Uplifting Athletes Executive Director, and a former Nittany Lion football student-athlete. “Every year we got a little bit closer, and this milestone seemed to be within reach.”

Penn State is the single largest donor to the Kidney Cancer Association, and the funds raised from the university’s chapter have helped bring seven new treatments to market in the last 12 years. A pioneer among Division I schools, Penn State has sparked a movement that is growing nationwide, as 24 other college football programs have formed Uplifting Athletes Chapters – including half of the Big Ten, ACC, and at least one chapter in each major FBS conference.

“To me this is a test of time, and it wasn’t a one-hit wonder,” Shirley added. “The organization just continued to grow year after year.”

About the Author

CJ Doon

CJ is a senior journalism major from Long Island and Onward State's Sports Editor. He is a third-generation Penn Stater, and his grandfather wrestled for the university back in the 1930s under coach Charlie “Doc” Speidel. Besides writing, one of his favorite activities is making sea puns. You can follow him on Twitter @CJDoon, and send your best puns to [email protected], just for the halibut.

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