“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.”
If you haven’t heard the news, my dad passed away yesterday morning. I don’t even have the words to express my emotions. I’m so lost right now and struggling immensely. My dad was always my hero and someone I could relate to. He was such a legend and his legacy will live on forever. It’s been amazing seeing how many fans my dad has- all their stories/pictures. Reading them helps me deal with this because I can see how so many loved him. Not only did he have a legendary career, but had an even bigger heart off the field. I want to thank my family, friends, fans, and my dads fans for taking the time to reach out to me. It means more than you’ll ever know. He was truly loved by so many people and he was the greatest dad I could have ever asked for. He was and will forever be my hero and someone I will always look up to. I love and miss him more than words will ever be able to express. Happy Father’s Day to the best dad in the world. I love you and miss you so much. I’ll see you soon❤️ #21 P.S. happy Father’s Day to all the other amazing dads out there. Hug them extra tight today.
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 Sentinal on 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 fundraiser on 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.