About Us

Lift for Life is the signature event of “Uplifting Athletes,” a nonprofit organization created by Penn State Football student-athletes.  Their mission is to align college football with rare diseases and recognize them as a national priority.  A rare disease affects fewer than 200,000 Americans and typically lacks financial incentive to make and market new treatments.  What makes “Uplifting Athletes” unique is that university chapters are run by current football student-athletes.  Their participation provides them with practical job skills while helping them learn how to make a positive and lasting difference.   The organization currently has chapters at Penn State University, Ohio State University, the University of Maryland, Colgate University, and the University of Florida.  The National Institute of Health (NIH) has identified over 7,000 rare diseases affecting more than twenty-five million Americans.  Each university chapter benefits a rare disease that has impacted them or their loved ones.

Mechanicsburg Senior High School students have joined the effort of the Penn State chapter to raise money and promote awareness for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of kidney cancer.  This rare disease has directly affected several staff members at Mechanicsburg Area Senior High in recent years.  Don Shirley, the inspiration behind the Lift for Life initiative, lost his decade long battle with kidney cancer on October 17, 2005. He was 55 years old. His death has strengthened our resolve to continue his work. Compared to more recognized diseases, there is very limited funding for kidney cancer.  All proceeds raised by the Lift for Life event benefit the Kidney Cancer Association.  Since 2003, over $400,000 has been raised for this cause, and as a result, a number of new breakthroughs have been developed in the fight against this deadly disease.

If you would like to help make a difference, or learn more about kidney cancer, please visit the Uplifting Athletes Website.