Rare diseases take center stage at Shimko Memorial Golf Tournament on June 4

SHIMKO GOLFRare diseases will once again be the center of attention when the 11th Mike Shimko Memorial Golf Tournament tees off in Northeastern Pennsylvania next month.

Mike Shimko lost his three-year battle with kidney cancer, one of the more than 7,000 rare diseases that affect’s some 200,000 Americans, in 2006 at the age of 53. Kidney cancer is also part of the inspiration for Penn State forming an Uplifting Athletes Chapter.

And since Mike Shimko was a Penn State graduate and Nittany Lions fan, the symmetry between the Shimko family’s rare disease story and the football student-athlete led Penn State Chapter provided a great match.

“Kidney cancer is something that’s affected the Shimko family and my family as well. We each also have strong Penn State ties,” Uplifting Athletes Executive Director and Founder Scott Shirley said. “By continuing to shine a spotlight on this rare disease for almost a decade after Mike’s passing shows a strong commitment by JoAnn and Michael (Shimko). It’s an honor to be part of this tournament each year.”

So after holding the first memorial tournament three months after Mike Shimko’s passing, the proceeds from the 2016 tourney at Pine Hills Country Club in Taylor, Pa. will benefit kidney cancer and the rare disease community through Uplifting Athletes and the Penn State Chapter.

Uplifting Athletes and the Penn State Chapter thank JoAnn Shimko and her son Michael for continuing to shine a light on kidney cancer and the larger rare disease community.


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