As the temperature outside gets colder, cancer patients across the Midwest will be a little warmer thanks to the blankets made during the seventh annual Aidan Project. The Aidan Project, which is sponsored by Circle K and Knott Hall, took place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in South Dining Hall on Saturday. Members of the Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s families, the South Bend Kiwanis Club, the Nappanee High School Key Club and the Manchester University Circle K joined in making 203 blankets for cancer patients of all ages, which will be delivered to hospitals throughout the Midwest. The Aidan Project was introduced in 2006 and named for Aidan Fitzgerald, a graduate of the Class of 2010 who was diagnosed with testicular cancer during his sophomore year. Fitzgerald said his roommate at the time, 2009 alumnus Chris Esber, was involved with Circle K and decided to rebrand the group’s Blanket Bash as The Aidan Project. Fitzgerald said participation in the rebranded event went from around 30 people to more than 200. Fitzgerald said the event is about more than just making blankets. “This isn’t about me. This event exists because cancer is a ubiquitous issue. I just happen to have my name attached to it,” he said. “It’s also not about the number of blankets we make. It’s about raising awareness.” Fitzgerald said he had a strong, focused attitude when he was battling cancer. “There was never a doubt in my mind that I was going to recover. It was anticlimactic when I finished chemo therapy because nothing felt different,” he said. “I think it was harder for my friends and family than for me, because for me the process was clear while they were removed from it and left to wonder what was going on.” Cancer treatment was a difficult but important part of his life, Fitzgerald said, and is now something he can joke about. “It sucked, but it was a defining moment in my life and it taught me a new appreciation for things,” he said. “I also like to make light of the having gone through cancer. Since it was testicular cancer and they did have to remove one, I picked up a few nicknames.” Those who have cancer just want a return to normalcy, Fitzgerald said. “That’s why it’s great to just make blankets instead of something over the top. When you go through chemo you lose your hair and everything, so you get cold,” he said. “A blanket is just what they need.” Fitzgerald, who currently lives in Indianapolis, participated in this year’s event with his fiancÃ©e. He said he was glad that students were willing to take the time to make blankets for cancer patients. “It’s cool to see people here on a Saturday morning instead of sleeping in or watching TV, or doing anything but coming out to make blankets,” he said. Sophomores Emily Mediate and Hilary Johnson, co-chairs of Circle K Special Projects, organized the event. Mediate said she enjoyed planning the Aidan Project because it afforded her the opportunity to be involved from the beginning stages through to delivering the blankets. Johnson said she enjoys the project because of what it means to the individuals, mostly children, who receive the blankets. “It’s a great way to impact the lives of the kids. You wouldn’t think a blanket that took 20 minutes to make would put such a big smile on a kid’s face, but it does and it makes a big difference,” Johnson said. Mediate said they contacted hospitals around the Midwest about how many blankets each wanted, and Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis ordered the greatest number. She said Circle K members who live near the participating hospitals deliver the blankets when they return home for winter break. In preparation for the event, the group bought 1,000 yards of fleece for $4,000, the funds for which come from a grant from Kiwanis International and fundraising efforts, which include Aidan Project T-shirt sales. Mediate said after purchasing the fleece they pre-cut it to specified sizes. On Saturday, students made either single or double layered blankets from the fleece. She said students were able to choose their preferred fleece pattern for each blanket and could make a card to go along with the blanket. Junior Molly Daily, who participated in the event for the third time, said she believes the Aidan Project is a simple way to do something good. “It’s a really easy way to do something good,” Daily said. “It doesn’t take a lot of time and its really fun.”
In a swift response to the suspension of the NFF President and entire Executive board by the Minister of Sports and Chairman National Sports Commission, Dr. Tamuno Danagogo yesterday 3rd July, world football governing body, FIFA through the office of the Secretary General has notified the Head of the Nigeria Football Federation of the implication and eventual consequences of the suspension.In an official letter signed by FIFA’s Secretary General Jérôme Valcke to the NFF President, Mr Aminu Maigari and CAF via e-mail, FIFA described as ‘undue interference’ the Federal High Court injunction and subsequent suspension of the leadership of the NFF while it also counselled an immediate reversal.The Letter reads:We have learnt from various sources, and notably Nigeria newspapers, that different actions were taken with regard to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) which are very worrisome.We understand that the NFF has been served with court processes and that consequently an order restraining the President of the NFF, his Executive Committee members and the NFF Congress from running the affairs of Nigerian Football has been granted by a high Court of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.We also take note of your detention carried out by representattives of the Department of State Security Service and that the latter is looking for other members of the NFF. We notice as well that the Minister of Sport has appointed an assistant director to take charge of the NFF. Finally, it is alleged that the members of the NFF have been convened to attend an Extraordinary Congress on 5 July 2014 in Abuja. In this regard, we would like to remind you that all FIFA member associations have to manage their affairs independently and without influence of any third parties as clearly stipulated in articles 13, par 1 and 17, par. 1 of the FIFA Statutes. Therefore, the above mentioned actions are preventing the NFF from managing its affairs independently and are considered by FIFA as undue inteference in the NFF affairs.We inform you as well that FIFA will not recognize any person or organ not elected in compliance with the NFF Statutes ( article 17, par 2 and 3 of the FIFA Statutes) and therefore we will not consider the appointment made by the Minister of Sports. Additionally, we will not recognize any decision taken by the above mentioned Extraordinary Congress which will be considered null and void. An elective Congress has been duly convened by the NFF for 26 August 2014 and the only decisions and persons elected then will be considered legitimate.Under these circumstances, we recommend you relay this position to the relevant authorities and brief them about the potential adverse consequences on Nigerian football. Moreover we ask that you respectfully inform the relevant authorities that if the aforementioned NFF officials are not fully reinstated by Tuesday 8 July 2014, we will have no choice but to refer the case to the appropriate FIFA organs for sanctions, including the suspension of the NFF.We would like to underline the dire effects a suspension could have on Nigerian football. It would for instance mean that no team from Nigeria of any sort (including clubs) could have any international sporting contact (art. 14 par. 3 of the FIFA Statutes). But it would also mean that neither the NFF nor any of its members or officials could benefit from any development programme, course or training from FIFA or CAF any longer.We thank you in advance to keep us informed of any progress.