Kick for a cure
While each field goal Dan Fisher, senior placekicker for the Bloomsburg University Huskies football team, kicks is putting three points on the scoreboard for his team, it’s doing much more for those affected by the rare neurogenetic disorder, Angelman Syndrome, off the field.
During his senior year of college, Fisher has created the Kick for a Cure campaign, which allows members of the public to pledge a donation for each field goal he makes during the season.
He already has hit five field goals, with a long of 47 yards, four games into the season.
Fisher, the all-time Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference career record holder for field goals with 51 and holds the career kicking points record with 306 points, set up the campaign with the Angelman Syndrome Foundation in honor of family friend, Brianna Rehm.
Eileen Braun, executive director of the foundation, explained that caring for someone with the disorder is a “life-long commitment.”
Symptoms of Angelman’s is development delay, lack of speech, walking and balancing issues and as Braun explained, 90 percent experience seizures.
Fisher already has raised more than $1,500 for the foundation, which will go towards research on Angelman’s.
Fisher said he grew up around the Rehm family since he was a toddler, as both fathers coached soccer and the children played sports together.
Kimberly Rehm, Brianna’s mother, explained that Fisher always was hanging around at her house playing with her children. She added that while some would stare at Brianna, who was diagnosed with Angelman Syndrome at age 4, Fisher often would try to make her smile when in a bad mood.
“He was always very kind-hearted,” she recalled of Fisher.
The idea of giving to others with his on-field success, was something that Fisher said was an easy choice.
“The publicity of playing football, you have the power to do something special because you have people who support you,” he said.
He added that from his hometown of Liverpool to his campus community in Bloomsburg, he’s received support for the campaign.
“Everyone’s definitely very supportive. I can’t recall anyone turning down the idea of giving,” Fisher said.
Rehm was happy when she heard that Fisher had decided to do the campaign in honor of Brianna.
“The fact that he wanted to do this with Angelman Syndrome because of her, I was very touched,” she said. “For him to think of something and think of Bri and the family, it meant a lot.”
And since Angelman’s a rare disorder, Braun said that just the awareness that Fisher is creating is important.
When speaking about Fisher’s work, Braun said he was a hero for what he was doing, adding that she became emotional when first hearing of his campaign.
“I was very proud and excited to hear about Danny’s plan. Danny doesn’t benefit from this personally for himself. These are our true heroes,” she said.
Those wishing to donate to Fisher’s campaign can do so by visiting angelman.org.