Jimbo Fisher spreads awareness of son's blood disease through nonprofit

COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - For the last several months we've gotten to know Jimbo Fisher as a coach. But, he's also a father of two boys, Trey and Ethan.

His younger son, 11-year-old Ethan, suffers from a rare blood disease called Fanconi anemia. Coach Fisher has been spreading awareness of the condition through his nonprofit Kidz1stFund since 2011 and hopes the local community will get involved too.

In an effort to do just that, Aggie Football players joined the National Bone Marrow Donor Registry during a Be the Match On Campus event.

"I'm not going to lie, I was kind of nervous. But it was easy! You just swab the inside of your cheek on both sides for like five seconds and your done," said linebacker Keeath Magee.

A quick swab of the cheek is the easiest way to help people with Fanconi Anemia.

"I didn't know Ethan had this condition," said Magee. "He's such an energetic kid, he runs around here laughing and smiling all the time."

"He's actually been fighting this his whole life, but we just found out about it when he was 6. He was born with it," explained Jimbo Fisher.

FA is a hereditary blood disorder that causes an immune deficiency in the body. It's not a guaranteed cure, but Fisher says at some point Ethan will have to get a bone marrow transplant.

"FA can bridge into a lot of different diseases including breast cancer and leukemia," said Fisher. "We're just really finding out a lot about it now."

Shortly after finding out Ethan had FA, Jimbo and Ethan's mom, Candi, created the Kidz1stFund. The organization works hard to create awareness and raise money to find a cure for the disease.

"We said we have a platform to go out there and attack this disease, not just for Ethan but for all the other kids who don't have this platform," said Fisher. "There's only one way to beat something and that's attack it."

That mentality and example is one Aggie Football players appreciate in their coach both on and off the field.

"Just getting to know them in the short time that we've had Coach Fisher has been such a blessing," said Quarterback Nick Starkel. "You really get to see the heart behind him and the why of what he's doing."

"We all do truly want to be bigger than ourselves, we all want to help and we have kind hearts," said Magee. "We're one big family and when one of us is hurting, we all hurt."

Coach Fisher says the eagerness to get involved from his players and the community proves the true spirit of Aggieland.

"You know, the Texas A&M culture is incredible. I had heard about it and you're not skeptical but you know, until you get to see it first hand you never know," said Fisher. "It's an amazing group of people that want to get involved, that look to you and seek you out to see how they can help. Hopefully doing more of these drives will not only help Ethan's life, but other's lives as well."

Aggie fans are invited to participate in the next Be the Match National Bone Marrow registry event.

It will be held before the Aggie Football game against ULM on September 15 in The Fan Zone outside of Kyle Field.