[UPDATE] Jimbo Fisher’s Son Faces Life-Threatening Disorder

By: Eyewitness News Email
By: Eyewitness News Email

Tallahassee, Florida - August 5, 2011 - 11am -

Full video can be found below

Coach Jimbo Fisher's family starts a foundation called Kidz 1st Fund. They are on twitter @kidz1stfund and have a website.

Ethan Fisher has Fanconi Anemia, a life threatening disorder. Ethan is now 6 years old.

The money will be raised through a campaign called OnaKwest. For a cure, they will support research at the University of Minnesota. The campaign will raise money for the Kidz 1st Fund established by the Fisher family.

They learned about Ethan's condition on March 28th, 2011.

The doctor who is caring for Ethan Fisher, Dr. Margaret MacMillan, M.D., is from the University of Minnesota.



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 that afflicts their 6-year-old son, Ethan, and many others.

“One thing I’ve learned as a football coach is to never accept defeat,” Coach Fisher said. “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.

This type of hereditary anemia, primarily a blood disease, can affect all systems in the body and leads to bone marrow failure. For decades, the disorder was thought to be untreatable, but promising advances in medical research have improved the prognosis. To extend their lives, 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.

For that reason, the Fishers also are making a widespread appeal for people to join the National Marrow Donor Registry to determine if they are a match for any of the thousands of people whose lives depend on a bone marrow transplant.

“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 said. “We ask for your prayers, your participation in the bone marrow donor registry and your contribution to speed up the race for a cure.”

Leading Fanconi anemia researcher Margaret MacMillan, M.D., a pediatric blood and marrow transplant physician at the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital, said the fundraising efforts planned by the Fishers could be “a game changer” in the fight against Fanconi anemia.

“Through research, improvements are made each year in treating patients with Fanconi anemia, improvements that have changed the survival rate after unrelated donor bone marrow transplant for this disease from less than 30 percent to greater than 80 percent in the last 15 years,” said Dr. MacMillan. “It is with research that we have changed what’s possible for children just like Ethan. But there is much more to do. We will not stop until we have 100 percent survival. To this end, we are investigating safer treatments --even treatments that may eliminate the need for transplant in the future. Our team has already changed the practice of medicine for Fanconi anemia and other diseases, and we aim to do it again. With philanthropic support, we can give patients like Ethan and his family hope for a healthy and happy future.”

FSU Athletics Director Randy Spetman said the Fishers have the prayers of the FSU community. “They have the support of the entire Seminole family, and we all are teammates for Ethan as he courageously battles this disease,” Spetman said.

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.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Kaylee Location: Wakulla on Aug 18, 2011 at 02:23 PM
    Hi,I'm Kaylee.I'm 13 years Old,And I Would Like To Get Ahold Of The Family To Get My Bone Marrow Tested for Ethan.Please Email Me Info.
  • by Tonya Location: Perry on Aug 7, 2011 at 07:22 AM
    My thoughts and prayers are with this family.
  • by me Location: tally on Aug 6, 2011 at 01:47 PM
    my prayers are with you family!!,God be with you,
  • by nini Location: st. teresa, fl on Aug 6, 2011 at 09:21 AM
    i am appalled at some comments about this article and ashamed that such statements came from the Tallahassee area. any child with a life threatening illness...regardless of race or background, deserves the compassion and support of all of us. the fact that the 'high profile' of this child's father makes this case more newsworthy benefits all children and families everywhere touched by this disease. increased awareness is a major step toward finding a cure. my heart and prayers are with the fisher family and their efforts to meet a personal family crisis in such a positive way. these are the people who make our world a better place!
    • reply
      by TIR on Aug 6, 2011 at 09:45 AM in reply to nini
      • reply
        by Brian on Aug 6, 2011 at 10:08 AM in reply to TIR
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Aug 6, 2011 at 12:36 PM in reply to TIR
        if its "yawn", then why do you keep coming back. get a life
  • by Anonymous on Aug 6, 2011 at 08:51 AM
    doubt it would be news if it was just some "joe off the street" but this is all part of being a head coach at a big time university. Its the same thing as when a coaches son getting arrested makes news. At least this is for a good cause. Who knows..maybe this foundation will someday help save YOUR child. I bet you would think it was news then
    • reply
      by Anon on Aug 6, 2011 at 07:57 PM in reply to
      Unfortunately, no one else's kid is news...and they're just as important.
  • by leo nix Location: tallahassee ,flordia on Aug 6, 2011 at 07:10 AM
    iam a fsu so you know the reason why iam doing this.i hope your son make a speedy recovery good luck!
  • by Brian Location: Midway on Aug 6, 2011 at 05:48 AM
    Is wondering if this would be such big NEWS if it were just some Joe off the street?
  • by cd on Aug 6, 2011 at 05:18 AM
    Yeah, not news...the only reason this kid gets a press conference is because of who is dad is. I don't see any other kids with life threatening disorders getting their own press coverage.
  • by Well Played on Aug 5, 2011 at 09:13 PM
    I applaud the Fisher's savvy in using the media's often obscene desire for information as a conduit to raise awareness and funds. This could not have been easy for them. There is nothing worse than seeing a child suffer.
  • by Cheryl Location: Florida on Aug 5, 2011 at 09:04 PM
    I am a life long Gator fan but my heart goes out to the Fisher family. football is a GAME. This is a childs LIFE we are talking about. My thoughts, good wishes, a miracle and prayers are with you all!!
    • reply
      by anonymous on Aug 6, 2011 at 12:44 PM in reply to Cheryl
      I'm embarrassed for the people (white or black) who are making these comments. So we shouldn't worry about high BP in blacks?, and the birth rate deaths of black babies?, or should we just let that race worry about their own. The Fishers can bring a voice to this a whole lot better than "joe blow off the street" - think about it. Some day mixing races you too will have a child with Fanconi anemia or you too may have a child with sickle cell - and what if people wrote things like this about your child.
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