July 10, 2009, found Penn State's football players doing what they've done on that Friday afternoon for the previous six years.
No, they weren't in squad meetings.
They definitely were not out enjoying the annual Arts Fest in downtown State College.
These guys were participating in a grueling competition of muscles and willpower, all in the name of raising money for the Kidney Cancer Association—and raising awareness of rare diseases.
The competition is called Lift For Life, the marquee event of Uplifting Athletes. It's an organization created by former player Scott Shirley.
A rare disease is classified that way because it affects fewer than 200,000 Americans. Kidney cancer is one of those, and Scott's father passed away after his battle with it.
Uplifting Athletes isn't limited to Penn State. There are chapters at Maryland, Ohio State, Colgate, and Boston College as well, all looking to help.
You can go here (http://www.upliftingathletes.org/) for the scoop on the organization and how you can help, too!
I was lucky enough to attend the event last week and aim to show you just exactly what these guys go through to get your attention for rare diseases.