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December 31, 2013

Candi Fisher

Jimbo Fisher


TOM RINALDI:  Candi, I wanted to start with you and start with how this season opened.  For those who don't know, obviously the campaign opened in Pittsburgh, but certainly for your foundation, for the work you guys do with Fanconi anemia, it was a very special place because of something that unfolded there and an important piece of work for your foundation.  Share that with folks.
CANDI FISHER:  Through meeting all the people that I've met, families who are affected by this disease like we are, I met this wonderful family from Pittsburgh who lost their son Logan to Fanconi anemia.  It was a huge story.  It was on the Today Show, different places.  He was the best man in his parents' wedding, and largely it was reported that he died from cancer, but the cancer was caused by Fanconi anemia.  The mom and I became friends, and when we knew we were going to Pitt, we knew that we were wearing‑‑ the team was wearing the helmet stickers after the suggestion of Coach Chryst, it felt like the right thing to do to reach out to her and invite her along with her husband to come and be our guests and enjoy that night.
It was a pretty powerful moment.
TOM RINALDI:  I know, Jimbo, it's a very big day.  Contract aside, there's another check that is involved in this day that means a lot to you guys.  Why don't you share that.
JIMBO FISHER:  Yes, Candi and our organization, we just sent another check up to the University of Minnesota, and this year the check is‑‑ it's been amazing, the outpouring of support which we've had to be able to reach $500,000 each of the past two years.
CANDI FISHER:  And that's been our goal.
JIMBO FISHER:  This year, Candi and the group exceeded that, and I'll let her tell you what the check was for.
CANDI FISHER:  We sent a check today for $800,000.  We did $1.8 million in three years.  I almost said three seasons.  Last years or seasons.  We're very proud of that.  I got a text from Ethan's doctor personally saying how wonderful it was and what they feel like they're going to be able‑‑ how much they feel like they're going to be able to accomplish because of our efforts.
JIMBO FISHER:  The thing about it is we started it because of Ethan, but this is for all of the families affected by this, because they don't have this platform, they don't have the ability and the wherewithal, some folks don't.  If we can affect someone's lives ‑‑ God doesn't put more on your plate than you can handle and we truly believe that we believe that we are where we're at because God wanted us to be the face of this and to help other families that are affected with this.  If we can take a little bit of athletics and football and help this, God always has a plan.
CANDI FISHER:  More than anything making people aware of what Fanconi anemia is because we didn't know.  I know the Seminole community knows all well what it is now.
TOM RINALDI:  Candi, share it.
CANDI FISHER:  It's a rare blood disease that causes bone‑marrow failure.  Ethan will eventually need a bone‑marrow transplant and unfortunately we don't know when.  We have to keep track of his blood count, we have to do a bone‑marrow biopsy annually, and we just pray a lot that he doesn't go into bone‑marrow failure any time soon.
TOM RINALDI:  I know it's a family affair for you guys.  Why don't you let folks know how Ethan and Trey are doing and what they'll be doing here this week.
CANDI FISHER:  Well, they'll probably be bossing everybody around.  Ethan does that quite well, actually.  He's doing great.  Trey is doing great.  They're thriving, of course loving where we are and why we're here.
JIMBO FISHER:  He'll be attached to my hip and telling me what I should be doing this week and who should be getting the ball and what we should be running and who should be blitzing.  Trey thinks he's a coach already.  At 12, he's already got it planned out.  But they're having a great time.  They're both doing really well, and Ethan is doing really well right now.

Q.  (No microphone.)
CANDI FISHER:  It's been a lot of fun.  It's been surreal to sit back and watch it happen.  You get so nervous for the game that you don't really enjoy it while it's happening, you enjoy it after it happens.  I just want to make sure that we all take time to sit back and look at what we've accomplished.  This community, everybody, has pulled together to make this happen.  It's just an incredible accomplishment, and I'm so proud of the guys.  I mean, they're just great, like you said.  They're our family.  They're high‑character kids.  They're just great people.  We love having them as part of our lives and having them as big brothers for our kids because that's really how they look at them.
JIMBO FISHER:  Thank you for allowing us to bring the awareness to the disease right here, and like I say, ESPN is always a class act, and Tom, it's always a pleasure being with you whenever you're associated with something.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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