November 4, 2014 - by
Uplifting Athletes To Hold TD Pledge Drive For Virginia Game

By Tim Linafelt Senior Writer
@Tim_Linafelt on Twitter

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Roberto Aguayo often jokes that he’d like for Florida State’s offense to slow down a little and let him kick a few more field goals.

But FSU’s record-setting kicker is softening that stance this week.

Through their Uplifting Athletes chapter, the Seminoles are holding a touchdown pledge drive during Saturday’s football game to support Fanconi anemia research.

Fans can pledge a donation to the Kidz1stFund for each touchdown FSU scores against Virginia. Which means that Aguayo is hoping for plenty of extra points.

“I’d rather be kicking extra points this game than field goals,”Aguayo said. “That’s how I look at it.”

All proceeds will go directly to Fanconi anemia research through the Kidz1stFund, a foundation started by FSU coach Jimbo Fisher and his wife Candi in 2011. The Fishers’ 9-year-old son Ethan is currently battling the rare blood disease.

Pledges can be made here.

FSU held a touchdown drive during last year’s home game against Syracuse and raised $9,000. This year’s goal has been set at $10,000.

“Definitely we always want to win,” said FSU tight end Kevin Haplea, who founded FSU’s Uplifting Athletes chapter in 2013.

“But this week we can go a little bit further with scoring touchdowns for a great cause, and everyone’s just really excited about it.”

Haplea said Uplifting Athletes chose the Virginia game for the drive in part to support the family of Cavaliers coach Mike London. His daughter, 18-year-old Ticynn, was diagnosed with Fanconia anemia at age 4.

The Seminoles will also wear decals that read “I Fight Fanconi” on their helmets.

This is the second fund-raising event that Haplea has led in the last few months. In July, he and Uplifting Athletes held a Lift for Life event at FSU’s indoor practice facility. More than 70 Seminole football players competed, offense vs. defense, in feats of strength and athleticism in hopes of earning donations.

The event raised more than $15,000.

“What Kevin’s doing with Fanconi anemia, Roberto and all those guys, my hat’s off to them,” Jimbo Fisher said. “The greatest thanks. And it’s not just for us. It’s for all the children who have it and giving them hope. I think these guys get the big picture of life and that’s what it’s about.”

The Kidz1stFund has generated more than $1 million in 2014 alone. Since its start in 2011, the foundation has raised $2.8 million for research at the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital, the largest FA treatment center in the nation.

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