Florida State Seminoles Head Coach Jimbo Fisher and Xavier Rhodes recall how the Kidz1st was created.
Florida State Seminoles Head Coach Jimbo Fisher has one of the top jobs in all of college football. He perennially fields a national championship contending team as his players are always ready to play. He has won a national championship, coached dozens of players into the NFL and made millions of dollars. All of that success couldn’t have prepared him to hear these fateful words: “Your son Ethan has Fanconi anemia.” Now, Coach Fisher had no idea what that was, but he does remember being told that there wasn’t a cure for the illness and that the average life expectancy was 23 years old. As a father, it was crushing to him as he felt it was his responsibility to protect his children and ensure they had a long and happy life. The family kept the condition quiet for a while, but they finally decided to announce it to the world. Fisher said, “After that day, I realized that God put me in this position to not only help Ethan, but also to fight for all those affected by Fanconi anemia.”
Xavier Rhodes was a star cornerback for the Seminoles who was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings. He was close with Coach Fisher and Ethan. Rhodes found out that Ethan was being treated at the University of Minnesota, and he immediately realized he was there for a reason. Rhodes got involved with Kidz1st, which is an organization aimed at bringing awareness to the disease and to help find a cure. Coach Fisher and Rhodes know that their purpose is to use their platform to raise awareness for this cause. Coach Fisher knows he can use his stature to make a difference and help push towards a cure.
This is what sports is all about – using the unique platform to create social impact. From tragedy comes great success. Ultimately, Coach Fisher is helping children with Fanconi anemia all over the world and those who will be diagnosed with it in the future. Hopefully, fans and community members can come together to push towards that cure.
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