July 11, 2012
Representative C. W. Bill Young was honored to meet with the Head Football Coach of Florida State University, Jimbo Fisher and his wife Candi, to discuss the Kidz 1st Fund and their efforts to advance research for a cure to Fanconi Anemia. Founded by the Fishers in 2011, after their son Ethan was diagnosed with Fanconi Anemia, the Kidz 1st Fund seeks to advance research in and find a cure for this rare blood disorder. The Fishers were accompanied by Doctor John Wagner of the University of Minnesota who has been working closely with the organization and helping to treat Ethan.
The Fishers explained that patients with Fanconi Anemia experience a decline in blood count and eventually are subject to bone marrow failure, with some developing leukemia. Currently Fanconi Anemia is treated by attempting to replace faulty bone marrow cells with healthy bone marrow cells. This can be achieved through either bone marrow transplants or umbilical cord blood transfusion.
Representative Young has been a major supporter of advancing both techniques. In fact, in 1986, Representative Young was instrumental in the creation of the National Bone Marrow Program by ensuring the Navy had adequate resources to launch the initiative. This program not only reaches out to patients here in America, but also to those in countries worldwide, recently reaching 10 million volunteers and 50,000 transplants.