Uplifting Athletes donates $25,000 to UPMC for kidney cancer research in honor of Shirley family


Uplifting Athletes Director of Strategic Development Rob Long (left) presents a $25,000 check to Dr. Rahul Parikh and Dr. Len Appleman at UPMC in Pittsburgh.

Uplifting Athletes presented a $25,000 donation to the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center in support of kidney cancer research on September 8.

The grant to UPMC is made in honor of the Shirley Family through the Penn State Chapter of Uplifting Athletes in support of its mission of using college football as a platform to inspire the rare disease community with hope through the power of sport.

This award is the first of three for a young investigator working on translational research to benefit the kidney cancer community. The grant from Uplifting Athletes to UPMC will support the research being done by Dr. Rahul Parikh under the guidance of Dr. Len Appleman.

“We are humbled to help fund Dr. Parikh and his promising research at the institution that treated my father,” said Scott Shirley, founder of Uplifting Athletes. “More than 10 years after his passing and he’s still helping others. This is his legacy.”

The college football student-athlete led Penn State Chapter of Uplifting Athletes has championed the kidney cancer cause since 2003, and has raised more than $1 million in support of research for this rare disease.

Penn State defensive end Garrett Sickels is the PSU Chapter President, who along with 14 of his teammates comprise the leadership team that helped organize the annual Lift For Life to benefit the rare disease community. Donations can be made through the end of September to help them reach their goal at give.upliftingathletes.org/psulift2016

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