“The news that Ethan has this disease is a call to action for us, and we hope to use our situation to improve the chances of every child whose life may be extended and improved by advances against this illness,” Candi Fisher told reporters.
Florida State University football head coach Jimbo Fisher and his wife, Candi, today announced the creation of a new national fund to fuel the quest for a cure for Fanconi anemia, a very rare life-threatening disorder.
This type of hereditary anemia, primarily a blood disease, can affect all systems in the body and leads to bone marrow failure. Most children suffering from Fanconi anemia will require a stem cell transplant, either bone marrow or cord blood, yet many wait years to find a donor who is a perfect match – or never find.
“One thing I’ve learned as a football coach is to never accept defeat,” Coach Fisher told reporters. “We are in this to win the fight against Fanconi anemia on behalf of all the children who share this struggle with Ethan.”
Money raised through a new campaign called OnaKwest for a Cure will support research into Fanconi anemia at the University of Minnesota, one of the leading universities pioneering better ways to treat the disorder, in advance of finding a cure. The campaign will raise research dollars for the Kidz 1st Fund, just established by the Fishers, through the sale of t-shirts, wristbands and other products and through online donations. Coach Fisher said he will donate all fees associated with his public speaking engagements to the fund.
Leading Fanconi anemia researcher Margaret MacMillan, M.D., a pediatric blood and marrow transplant physician at the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital, told reporters that the fundraising efforts planned by the Fishers could be “a game changer” in the fight against Fanconi anemia.
“We ask for your prayers, your participation in the bone marrow donor registry and your contribution to speed up the race for a cure,”Candi Fisher told reporters.
The Kidz 1st Fund, fighting Fanconi anemia, is affiliated with the Alma Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit charity that primarily supports children and family causes, distributing more than $5 million to date.
The OnaKwest for a Cure campaign is dedicated to raising awareness about Fanconi anemia and helping to fund research for finding a cure. The Fishers have established the Kidz 1st Fund so that dollars raised through generous donations, online contributions and during special events will go toward finding a cure. To learn more about the fund and donate to the cause, please visit www.kidz1stfund.com.