Nick Saban has a reputation for being a no-nonsense type of guy, but that doesn’t mean the Alabama football coach can’t soften up and have a good time every now and then.
Especially when a good cause is involved.
Saban put himself out there in a compromising position for the world to see on Wednesday night, and it was all in support of a sick youngster in the Alabama community. The Tide coach took the “Lemon Face Challenge” in support of Aubreigh Nicholas, who is battling Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (better known as DIPG), an incurable form of brain cancer found in children.
Nick Saban takes Lemon Face Challenge
Saban’s face after biting into the lemon is priceless, and it surely brought a smile to Aubreigh’s face. But his message to Aubreigh in the moments that followed were probably the most important thing.
“Our team is so proud to be a part of Aubreigh’s Army as you continue your fight and also your efforts in helping raise awareness for DIPG,” Saban said. “I want you to know that you are in our thoughts and prayers and we are behind you 100 percent.
“God bless you and Roll Tide.”
More information on DIPG
Here is a small snippet of information on DIPG from the Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorder Center.
Diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPG) are highly aggressive and difficult to treat brain tumors found at the base of the brain. They are glial tumors, meaning they arise from the brain’s glial tissue—tissue made up of cells that help support and protect the brain’s neurons. These tumors are found in an area of the brainstem (the lowest, stem-like part of the brain) called the pons, which controls many of the body’s most vital functions such as breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate.
Diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas account for 10 percent of all childhood central nervous system tumors. Approximately 300 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with DIPG each year. While DIPGs are usually diagnosed when children are between the ages of 5 and 9, they can occur at any age in childhood. These tumors occur in boys and girls equally and do not generally appear in adults.
More information on Aubreigh’s Army
Aubreigh Nicholas is a fifth-grader from Semmes, Ala. who is in the middle of her fight against DIPG. Saban and his football team have supported her in her journey beyond this Lemon Face Challenge, including a meeting with Saban prior to a football game last season.
The family is raising money for expenses here, with the following message to those who stumble upon their page:
One in a million? That’s our girl. A love for dance, a heart for service, beauty inside and out? We got that! An appetite for love, life, family and friends defines our favorite fifth grader. On Tuesday, September 12th, we began to use a new way to describe our leading lady and that includes a DIPG diagnosis.
FIERCE FIERCE FIERCE. What you need to know about Aubreigh is that while kind, caring, and obsessed with crafts and dance, she is FIERCE. DIPG won’t stop this kid! To make sure she and her mom and dad have every resource they need to put the boxing gloves on and fight this, we are enlisting your help. Give for the child you know battling this crazy disease, for the friend you have battling another cancer, or give in thanks for your personal health. Whatever the reason, join this ARMY!
Aubreigh’s Army is fighting fierce and praying for big results! Thank you for your part in the fight, we are all in this together.