Uplifting Athletes presented a $25,000 to the Fox Chase Cancer Center in support of kidney cancer research earlier this week.
The research grant to Fox Chase is made in honor of the Shimko 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 for a young investigator working on translational research to benefit the kidney cancer community. The grant from Uplifting Athletes to Fox Chase Cancer Center will enhance the research being done by Dr. Phillip Abbosh under the guidance of Dr. Robert G. Uzzo.
“It’s an honor to put this money to work in the name of the Shimko family. Their support has been unwavering,” said Uplifting Athletes founder Scott Shirley. “This is a great example of our efforts to directly fund more early-stage projects that are focused on the rare diseases [such as kidney cancer] that inspire us, and at the same time, have translational benefits that will potentially help all rare disease patients.”
Michael Shimko Sr. passed away in 2006 from kidney cancer. A huge Penn State football fan, his passing served as an inspiration for his widow JoAnn, and son Michael Jr. to make an impact.
For the last 10 years, the Shimko Golf Outing in Scranton has raised funds to support the Penn State Chapter of Uplifting Athletes and the kidney cancer community.
JoAnn and Michael Jr. joined Uplifting Athletes in Philadelphia for the check presentation, and were able to talk with Dr. Abbosh and Dr. Uzzo about their research and the impact those funds would have. Dr. Abbosh also took them on a tour of Fox Chase including a visit to the lab.
“Over the past 10 years, my mother and I have worked tirelessly with our friends and family to raise funds for kidney cancer research,” Michael Shimko Jr. said. “It’s an honor to support an institution like Temple Fox Chase whose commitment to cancer research is so unwavering.”
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.