Uplifting Athletes Tackling Video Tourney

Penn State chapter looking to help raise awareness for rare diseases with a Feb. 28 event in State College. The Lions will then go head to head online with a team from Maryland.

The Penn State Football chapter of Uplifting Athletes is hosting a new event in recognition of Global Rare Disease Day on Feb. 28. Fans and media will have a unique opportunity to watch many of their favorite players compete against each other in a popular college football video game while supporting an important cause. All chapter proceeds will continue to benefit the Kidney Cancer Association. This event is being held in part of a worldwide effort to help raise awareness and call attention to the public health issues for those affected by rare diseases.

The Charity Video Game Tournament will be held from 2-6 p.m. at Damon's Grille, 1031 East College Avenue in State College, Pa. A limited number of tickets will be made available for fans. Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $5 for students and may be purchased in advance by making a donation at www.upliftingathletes.org or at the door. Tickets will be sold on a first-come-first-serve basis.

“We're proud to be part of Rare Disease Day,” said Brett Brackett, chapter president. “Penn State Football Uplifting Athletes has a long tradition of supporting those affected by rare diseases through our annual Lift For Life event. We hope this new video game tournament will become yet another tradition in our storied football program and bring players and fans together to help make a difference by raising awareness for rare diseases.”

A related event will be held on Feb. 28 by the University of Maryland Football chapter of Uplifting Athletes. The event will conclude with the winners of the Penn State and Maryland tournaments facing off against each other in a live online competition to determine an intercollegiate champion.

The Rare Disease Day was founded by EURODIS and is coordinated in the United States by the National Organization for Rare Diseases (NORD). The effort is intended to help call attention to the need for greater awareness, more research and better access to diagnosis and treatments of rare diseases. A rare disease is one that affects fewer than 200,000 Americans. According to the National Institutes for Health (NIH) there are nearly 7,000 such diseases affecting nearly 25 million Americans. Victims of rare diseases frequently have difficulty in getting accurate diagnosis, access to treatments and difficulty in finding medical experts to help treat them.

Penn State Football Uplifting Athletes is a recognized student organization that is operated by current football student-athletes. The organization is a chapter of Uplifting Athletes, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to align college football with rare diseases and raise them as a national priority. University chapters are run by current football student-athletes, providing them with an opportunity to gain practical job skills while learning how to leverage their assets and abilities to make a positive and lasting impact. Uplifting Athletes currently has chapters at Penn State, Ohio State, Maryland and Colgate, in addition to an event done in association with the University of Florida. For more information, please visit www.upliftingathletes.org.

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