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Former Penn State defensive standout and future NFL draft pick, Garrett Sickels is raising awareness and funds for the rare disease community at the 2017 NFL Combine by allowing fans and supporters to pledge for every bench press rep he performs.

Throughout his time at State College, Garrett Sickels was not only a defensive star and BIG 10 Champion for the Nittany Lions, he was also an Uplifting Athletes lettermen and part of the leadership team of the Penn State Chapter. When he received his invite to the 2017 NFL Combine, he decided to use the showcase and opportunity to continue his support of the rare disease community by launching his Garrett Sickles: Reps for Rare Diseases campaign.

Fans and supporters have the opportunity to pledge any dollar amount for every bench press rep that Sickels performs at the Combine on March 4th. Fans can also make a one-time flat donation to support his efforts.

As Sickels himself explains, “Being a part of Uplifting Athletes throughout my time at Penn State was an honor. As I take the next step toward my NFL dream, I have made an important decision to use my performance at the NFL Combine to support Uplifting Athletes and their mission to inspire the rare disease community with hope through the power of sport.”

Proceeds from this PLEDGE IT campaign will benefit the Uplifting Athletes, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Uplifting Athletes inspires the rare disease community with hope through the power of sport and empowers medical researchers to find cures. A rare disease is one that affects fewer than 200,000 Americans and consequently lacks financial incentive to make and market new treatments.

Founded in 2007, Uplifting Athletes has college football student-athletes led chapters nationwide in FBS and FCS programs including half the schools in the Big Ten and ACC conferences.

PLEDGE IT is an online fundraising platform that empowers teams and athletes at any level for all sports to raise money based on their athletic performance. Fans can pledge any dollar amount for every touchdown, run, or point scored to benefit their team or favorite cause. PLEDGE IT has been featured on ESPN, Ellen DeGeneres Show, USA TODAY, Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports, and MSNBC. For more information about PLEDGE IT, visit www.pledgeit.org.