Nittany Lions' Shrive a finalist for Uplifting Athletes award

January 16, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State Football student-athlete Eric Shrive (Scranton) has been selected one of seven finalists for the 2013 Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion Award. A redshirt junior guard, Shrive has raised nearly $70,000 for the Kidney Cancer Association during his Penn State career.

The honor is presented annually to recognize a leader in the world of college football who has realized his or her potential to make a positive and lasting impact on the rare disease community. More than 30 million Americans are affected by rare diseases.

Fans can vote to determine this year’s champion at

Vice president of Penn State’s Uplifting Athletes chapter the past two years, Shrive has been a significant contributor in the planning of the chapter’s events to benefit the Kidney Cancer Association. The most well-known event for Penn State’s Uplifting Athletes chapter is the Penn State Lift for Life, a strength and conditioning challenge among football squad members held annually in July. 

Shrive has raised approximately $69,500 for the Penn State Lift For Life and kidney cancer awareness during his four years on campus, including approximately $32,000 in 2012, helping boost the total to a record $110,374. During the 10 years of the Penn State Lift For Life, members of the Nittany Lion football team have raised in excess of $700,000 for the Kidney Cancer Association.

Shrive played in every game last season, helping Coach Bill O’Brien’s Nittany Lions to an 8-4 record (6-2 Big Ten), leading the Big Ten in total offense (437.0 ypg) and ranking second in scoring (32.6 ppg) in conference games. A fifth-year senior in 2013, Shrive was an all-state lineman at West Scranton High School.

Joining Shrive as finalists for the Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion Award are Oklahoma's Austin Woods, Humboldt State's Dillon Reagan, Florida's Neiron Ball, Navy's Chris Ferguson, USC's Frankie Telfort and Fordham's Andrew Milmore.

To read about each finalist’s personal story and connection to the rare disease community, as well as to cast your vote for this year’s champion, log onto Only one vote is allowed per email address. 

The fifth annual award Rare Disease Champion Award winner will be determined by an online vote that is under way until 11:59 p.m. Jan. 31. The 2013 Champion will be announced Feb. 1. The winner will be presented the Rare Disease Champion Sculpture on March 1 at the Maxwell Football Club’s Awards Gala in Atlantic City, N.J.

Previous winners of the Rare Disease Champion Award are American Football Coaches Association Executive Director Grant Teaff (2009), Dickinson College quarterback Ian Mitchell (2010), Princeton running back Jordan Culbreath (2011) and Nebraska Running Back Rex Burkhead (2012).

Uplifting Athletes is a full-service national nonprofit organization aligning college football with rare diseases and raising them as a national priority through research, outreach, education and advocacy. What makes Uplifting Athletes unique is that our university chapters are run by current football student-athletes, providing them with an opportunity to gain management and leadership skills while learning how to leverage their assets and abilities to make a positive and lasting impact. Current Chapters have been formed at Nebraska, Penn State, Ohio State, Kent State, North Carolina State, Fordham, St. Francis, Notre Dame, Maryland, Illinois, Northwestern, Princeton and Colgate. Each chapter adopts one out of approximately 7,000 rare diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, aplastic anemia, Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease, cystic fibrosis, Ehlers-Danlos, Ewing's sarcoma, kidney cancer, leukemia, multiple sclerosis, Neimann Pick Type-C, neuroblastoma and pancreatic cancer.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated January 18, 2013