“I wanted my family to go over to my dad’s facility so we could all sing happy birthday.”

That was Allie Kiick’s wish the night before her father passed away. Jim, a former football standout who played in the NFL from 1970 through 1977, died at the age of 73 just over a week ago.

“I haven’t been able to spend a birthday with my dad nor my family because I’m usually overseas playing tennis,” she wrote on Facebook.

Unfortunately, Kiick, who turned 25 on Tuesday, didn’t get to realize her wish.

“I don’t even have the words to express my emotions,” a grieving Kiick posted on Instagram following the devastating news. “I’m so lost right now and struggling immensely. My dad was always my hero and someone I could relate to.”

Advertising

To honor the late Miami Dolphins great, Kiick, who reached a career-high ranking of No. 126 in June of 2019, and family donated his brain to the CTE Foundation, whose mission is to end CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy “through prevention and research.

“I was trying to think of a way to honor my dad the best way possible,” Kiick told Sun Sentinalon Saturday. “We knew my dad would want to help any way he could just because he’s always had the biggest heart.”

The foundation describes CTE as a “degenerative brain disease found in athletes, military veterans, and others with a history of repetitive brain trauma.”

In honor of her birthday, Kiick transitioned her unfulfilled wish into something positive by starting the Jim Kiick fundraiseron Facebook, with all proceeds going towards the foundation's research.

Our goal is $21,000 (#21) for him and so far we are at $5,000.” She wrote.

Allie Kiick raising funds for CTE Foundation in honor of late dad Jim

Allie Kiick raising funds for CTE Foundation in honor of late dad Jim