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Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher thought about walking away from the job in 2011 after his son was diagnosed with a rare genetic disease

By SI Wire
April 20, 2016

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Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher thought about walking away from his job in 2011 after his son was diagnosed with a rare genetic disease, he told the Palm Beach Post.

In March of 2011, the Fisher family discovered that Ethan, who was five years old at the time, had Fanconi anemia, a disease that carries a life expectancy of 35 years and has no cure.

“Yeah, it did cross my mind, without a doubt,” Fisher said about the possibility of stepping down. “I didn’t know what (Ethan’s condition) required, what it meant. ‘Should I coach? ‘Should I not coach?’

“I don’t know if we ever got to that point where we thought about it seriously, but it crossed my mind to think about that because I didn’t know until we found out everything.”

Fisher admitted that after he decided to return to coaching, it was often difficult for him to stay focused on the job. 

“That spring I was distracted,” Fisher said. “I was in practice and I would catch myself every now and then thinking about something. I have never done that before but I did occasionally that spring.

“I thought, ‘how am I going to do it? Am I doing it justice not being with him as much and feeling guilty every time? We got to learn to manage and every second I got a chance to be with my family, that’s what I’m going to do.”

Fisher and his ex-wife, Candi, eventually set up a foundation, Kidz1stFund, to raise money for research on Faconi anemia. The foundation has raised $3.5 million to date. 

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