Cumberland County philanthropist motivates boy’s heartwarming touchdown

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A boy battling brain cancer has become an MVP football player at the University of Nebraska.  It’s a title he may not have received if  it wasn’t for a Cumberland County man.  The viral video is of Jack Hoffman, 7, running a 69-yard touchdown on the University of Nebraska football field.  What you may not know if an Enola man’s charity made the boy’s touchdown possible.

1999 East Pennsboro High School Graduate, Scott Shirley, says he gets to hear stories like Jack’s all the time.  It’s because he’s the founder of “Uplifting Athletes.”  “Uplifting Athletes” is a non-profit foundation allowing collegiate football players the chance to raise awareness of rare diseases.

Shirley says last year’s winner for his charity was Rex Burkhead, star running back from University of Nebraska.  Rex got the award because of his relationship with Jack.

Jack was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer around two years ago.  Shortly after, “Uplifting Athletes” Burkhead reached out to his fan, Jack.  Most recently, on Saturday, Jack continues his role as MVP, as the team continues to carry out “Uplifting Athletes” promise.

Shirley says, “An event like we all witnessed on Saturday is a feel good moment for all of college football fans too, which is a large majority of our nation.”

Jack’s dad, Andy says, “There was just a really exciting opportunity for Jack and the whole family.”

Shirley says, “Just a lot of good hearted people with no agenda, doing the right thing”

10 years ago, Shirley and his fellow student athletes at Penn State University created the charity in honor of his father.  His father was a baseball coach at Mechanicsburg High School.  He lost his battle with kidney cancer, inspiring Shirley to provide hope for nearly 200,000 Americans who are diagnosed with a rare disease at any given time.

For more information on Uplifting Athletes, click here.

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