Founded in 1981Educate, inspire, and connect those touched by ichthyosis and related disorders through emotional support, information, advocacy, and research funding for better treatments and eventual cures.
FIRST's friend, Tommy is Major League Baseball's biggest little fan!
As baseball season kicks into high gear, there will be one important fan watching from the stands. Tommy, a small doll, dubbed the MLB’s Biggest Little Fan, has traveled to Major League Baseball teams across the country to help raise awareness about ichthyosis, a group of genetic skin disorders characterized by dry, cracked, scaling skin. Tommy’s nationwide tour was inspired by Dane Phelps, who passed away in 2008 when he was just three years old from complications related to his ichthyosis. In an effort to broaden awareness about the disorder, Dane’s parents Suzanne and Eric, along with the help of FIRST, launched a nationwide tour of NFL Teams this past November with a goal to visit each NFL team, educate and gain each team’s support, as well as obtain an official team jersey. After all team donations were received, they were included for auction at the Dane’s Friends for FIRST 2013 event, to be held on September 7, 2013 at the Flint Center in Cupertino, California, where all proceeds will benefit FIRST. The success of the NFL campaign has led to the expansion of Tommy's travels to the country's Major League Baseball stadiums. Tommy's adventures will be publicized here on FIRST's website, and on our facebook and twitter pages so that fans across the country can enjoy.
Tommy's journey this spring
|Chicago White Sox|
Tommy visits US Cellular Field in Chicago and gets to see the White Sox World Series trophy.
Tommy is in Baltimore helping Assistant Groundskeeper Tom Kirsh get Oriole Park ready for their home opener.
|Tommy tours Coors Field in Denver, home of the Colorado Rockies|
|Tommy stops at Turner Field in Atlanta and is ready to "chop" the Braves' opponents|
San Francisco Giants
|Tommy was so happy to receive an autographed baseball signed by Giants pitcher Matt Cain|
|Tommy had a blast hanging out at Chase Field, home of the Diamondbacks.|
Los Angeles Angels
|Tommy visited Angels field in Los Angeles and visited the Trout Farm, the cheering section for outfielder Mike Trout.|
San Diego Padres
|Tommy is enjoying the beautiful San Diego sunshine while visiting Petco Park, home of the Padres! Many thanks to the Padres for donating a signed Clayton Richard baseball as well.|
|Tommy's most recent stop was checking out the World Series Trophies won by the Oakland A's. Thanks to the A's for the hospitality.|
|Tommy spent the 2012/2013 season touring football stadiums across the country|
The Denver Broncos
|Tommy stops in Denver to visit with the Broncos and he looks great in his Peyton Manning shirt. He also poses with the autographed photo of tight end Jacob Tamme at the FIRST office.|
The Philadelphia Eagles
|Tommy flew into the Eagles Nest and got a lift from Defensive End Vinny Curry.|
The Cincinnatti Bengals
|Tommy visits the Cincinnati Bengals locker room with #97 Defensive Tackle Geno Atkins and then tries on Geno's autographed jersey.|
The San Diego Chargers
|Tommy watches practice at Charger Park and gets some pointers from Defensive Tackle Antonio Garay. When he returned to FIRST, he posed with the Chargers donation, highlighted by the autographed photo of free safety Eric Weddle.|
|Tommy with Seattle Seahawks Strong Safety, Kam Chancellor(left) and with John Moffitt and Russel Okung (right)||
|Tommy pays a visit to snowy Cleveland and hangs out at Cleveland Browns Stadium. He then shows off the autographed photo of Pro-Bowl player Joshua Cribbs.|
|Tommy checked out the Ravens' locker room and facilities. He was also pleased to receive a football signed by Torrey Smith and a signed Michael Oher photo.|
|Tommy visits the Raiders facilities with Jacoby Ford and then shows off the autographed photo of running back Derrick McFadden that the Raiders sent.|
Kansas City Chiefs
|The Chiefs sent Tommy back with an autographed photo of Pro-Bowl linebacker Derrick Johnson.|
|The Cardinals outfitted Tommy with his own hat, one for a friend, and a t-shirt.|
|The Steelers sent Tommy back with a team photo and an autographed jersey from wide receiver Mike Wallace.|
|Tommy tours the Houston Texans facilities.|
|Tommy stopped by the Mall of America field to see the Minnesota Vikings facilty.|
Tommy stopped by the Georgia Dome to see the home of the Atlanta Falcons.
He enjoyed the signed Matt Ryan jersey that they sent back to FIRST!
"Our loss is huge, but our greatest joy is in knowing that his life can still make a difference for others here on earth."
As many know, Eric and Suzanne are the proud parents of beautiful Dane Christian Phelps who passed away in 2008 when he was just 3 years old. The family hosted the 1st Annual Dane’s Friends for FIRST Concert, in September 2012 in San Jose, California to honor his memory.
It was an extremely successful event that not only raised over $20,000 for FIRST’s mission to Educate, Inspire, and Connect those touched by ichthyosis, but it also spread ichthyosis awareness to the San Jose community. Look for all of the details about the 2nd Annual Dane's Friends for FIRST event on September 7, 2013 to be updated when the event draws near.