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!

$73,000.79 Amount Raised
87 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.

$36,249.40 Amount Raised
47 Campaigns

Uplifting Events & Awareness Campaigns

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: Saturday, March 7, 2020
Location: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pa.

 

 

Reps for Rare Diseases

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

 

Uplifting News

Posted on Thursday June 13, 2019
The Florida State Chapter of Uplifting Athletes will hold its Lift For Life to support the Rare Disease Community on Saturday, June 22 at 11:00 a.m. inside the Albert J. Dunlap Athletic Training Facility. FSU’s Lift For Life is open to the public. Lift For Life is the signature fundraising event for the Florida State […] Continue Reading »
Posted on Wednesday June 12, 2019
The Penn State Chapter of Uplifting Athletes will hold its 17th annual Lift For Life to support the Rare Disease Community on Friday, July 12 inside Holuba Hall starting at 5:00 p.m. Lift For Life is the signature fundraising event for the Penn State Chapter of Uplifting Athletes. Penn State is a part of Uplifting […] Continue Reading »
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 »

Key Leadership

Chapter Leaders

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

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
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