A personal situation inspires a powerful fight

Jimbo Fisher and Candi Fisher established Kidz1stFund after their younger son, Ethan was diagnosed with Fanconi anemia in 2011 at the age of 6.  FA is a rare genetic blood disease with no known cure, which causes bone marrow failure and cancer.  Since its inception in 2011, Kidz1stFund has worked to raise awareness and funds toward research into this rare disease, as well as encouraged people to join the National Bone Marrow Registry. The National Bone Marrow Registry matches donors (ages 18-40) to patients that are impacted by any of over 72 diseases.

“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.”

Candi Fisher

Thanks to the generous research funding of our donors & sponsors we:

Are committing that every dollar raised goes directly to FA research.  Every dollar counts that is why The Fisher Family under writes all overhead costs of Kidz1stFund.

Have donated over $11.2 million dollars to the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital (https://www.mhealthfairview.org/), the nation’s leading FA research institution.

Continue to grow the National Bone Marrow Registry through our partnership with Be the Match.  Over 7,500+ individuals have joined the registry at Kidz1stFund-sponsored drives. 

Commissioned and opened a study of the medical and psychosocial issues in Fanconi anemia patients in order to optimize their care. As a testament to our belief in this study, Ethan was the first patient enrolled in the study.

Purchased The CliniMACS Prodigy machinefor the University of Minnesota using Kidz1stFund donations has allowed a leap forward in automated cell processing that helps discover whether it’s possible and safe to treat and prevent life-threatening viral infections in FA patients undergoing transplantation.

Are conducting gene editing research aimed at correcting the defective FA gene in patients who have the disease and eliminating the need for conventional bone marrow transplant – and the risks that it carries. 

Are developing exciting strategies for improving outcomes for FA patients and others after transplantation. 

Are examining the causes of head and neck cancer in FA patients, ultimately improving treatment for all patients who suffer from these particularly devastating forms of cancer.

Are working to shed new light on the risk of leukemia by examining the genetic makeup of stem cells in FA patients, with the goal of stopping leukemia before it starts.

Most importantly, the life expectancy of children with FA continues to rise.

As Ethan continues to thrive, it’s important to remember that there are thousands of children just like him who may not be in the spotlight, but who are dealing with this terrible disease just the same. It’s for them that we began this fight, and it’s because of them that we vow to see it through to the end.

“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.”

Coach Fisher