Shrive among finalists for award

Eric Shrive's philanthropic fundraising efforts are well-known to those in the Penn State football community. The Nittany Lions' offensive lineman has raised $72,000 for kidney cancer research over the last four years though Penn State's Lift For Life challenge.

Shrive has already raised $72,000 for kidney cancer research in his time at Penn State.

Soon, his story could be known around the nation.

This week, Shrive was named one of seven finalists for Uplifting Athletes' Rare Disease Champion award, which recognizes, according to the nonprofit organization, "a leader in college football, individual or organization, who has realized his or her potential to make a positive and lasting impact on the rare disease community."

"It's a great honor," Shrive said. "I looked at some of the stories (of the other finalists) and some of them are pretty remarkable."

Those other finalists include USC linebacker Frankie Telfort, who has an enlarged heart condition that forced him to become a student-coach and has taught football to Japanese youth misplaced by a tsunami; Chris Ferguson, a Navy safety diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome; and Florida linebacker Neiron Ball, who returned to the field in 2012 after being diagnosed with a condition that twisted blood vessels in his brain.

Shrive plays for the school where Uplifting Athletes began. Former Penn State wide receiver Scott Shirley, the organization's CEO, launched it in 2007.

"Everything about Uplifting Athletes dials right back to Penn State," Shrive said. "It's great that Scott has all these different chapters now. I feel that every college football team should have an organization that gives back to the community."

Penn State's chapter elected its new officers on Thursday. Shrive, who served as vice-president this past year, will take over for outgoing president Mike Farrell. His personal goal is to surpass $100,000 in funds raised for his career. His goal for the organization is to continue to grow it.

"Our goal is to keep this thing going in the direction it's going," Shrive said. "Mike Farrell did a great job. It's going to be a challenge, but we're looking forward to getting young guys involved."

To cast a vote for the Rare Disease Champion award, visit

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