Young Football Fans Never Ever Give Up|
Sept. 22, 2013
On November 29, 2012 Casey Fisher was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Within a month, this eight year old boy with no previous health problems had begun chemotherapy. Within two months, he'd undergone major heart surgery to save his life from a blood clotting side-effect. But Casey's parents, Susan and Alan Fisher, were determined to keep their boy in high spirits as he fought this battle.
The Fishers discovered the Never Ever Give Up Foundation (NEGU) a few months into Casey's illness. The organization, founded by similarly passionate parents who lost a child to pediatric cancer, provides emotional support to kids with severe health problems. When former USC Football player Kyle Negrete invited NEGU to a game at the Coliseum, Casey proved the perfect fit.
This fall, USC has welcomed three children to home football games through NEGU. Casey and his family received seats generously donated by season ticket holder Charles Royce to see the Trojans' victory over Boston College. Two other young boys, Elias and Ayden, saw their dream of entering the Coliseum come true when they attended the home opener with family.
"There has been an outpouring of support from our community and this has played a key role in helping Casey, Susan and I during the toughest time of our lives," said Mr. Fisher, Casey's father. "We thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts."
Before each game, the boys were given a box of gifts from USC Athletics which included a jersey, t-shirt, hat, notebook, clock, and pillow case. They also had the chance to high-five athletes during the Trojan Walk in front of the stadium.
"We are so honored to have the support of USC," said Erik Rees, founder and CEO of NEGU. "We all hope to Fight On and help kids Never Ever Give Up!"
Kyle Negrete, who played host to these families on game day, continues his work as a model of the Trojan Spirit. While a punter on the team, he was one of eleven FBS football players named to the 2012 Allstate American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team, a prestigious honor that recognizes players committed to making a difference in their communities.