Penn State Athlete Receives Accolade

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A Penn State football player from Scranton got a national honor over the weekend for his efforts in the fight against a rare form of cancer.

West Scranton grad Eric Shrive has raised $70,000 for Penn State's Lift For Life event, battling kidney cancer.

Shrive was back at home Monday, talking to kids at his old elementary school.

“I relate this to football; it's like preparing for a big game.”

Eric Shrive was back at Willard Elementary School in Scranton, giving a motivational talk to the kids.

He used to be at the school, small like them. Now he's a massive lineman for the Nittany Lions. But the kids have more than just a Penn State football player to look up to.  Over the weekend, shrive received a national honor for his work off the field:  the 2013 Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion.

Quite an honor, but not Shrive's motivation.

"I'm not doing this for this recognition.  I'm just doing it to help out the people by the rare disease and this recognition has been great,” said Shrive.

Shrive is now the president of Penn State's Uplifting Athletes Lift For Life,  an event filled with physical challenges for Nittany Lion players raising money to battle kidney cancer.

Through this, Shrive has raised $70,000 on his own the last four years.  He joined the program to become closer with his teammates.

His uncle was diagnosed with kidney cancer after Eric got involved in fighting this very rare disease.

"The struggles that these people go through that don't have a prominent disease, and the struggles they go through just trying to find a doctor who knows the struggles they go through, or what he's talking about, or a treatment is something really hard."

Shrive got his award at the prestigious Maxwell Awards banquet.  He's glad to represent Penn State on the national stage after months of negative national news coverage.

"There's a lot of good coming out of Penn State.  You hear this word ‘culture’ thrown around a lot, a football culture.  Well, if you were at the Maxwell Dinner, the coach was honored as national coach of the year, the senior class from Penn State getting a national award and myself raising $70,000, so Penn State is a lot more than what people really look into,” said Shrive.

Shrive said he hopes to personally raise another $30,000 this year.