NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodCollege Town


Florida State football partners with TMH for Kickoff Kid program

One child is brought on the field every FSU home game to be recognized. It's open to all former pediatric patients at Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare.
FSU Football Kickoff Kid
Posted at 6:13 PM, Oct 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-14 22:10:32-04
  • Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare partners with FSU football to have one Kickoff Kid at every home game, recognized at the first timeout of the game.
  • Click or tap here to read more about each TMH Kickoff Kid.
  • Watch now to hear from Shanyia Jackson, the Kickoff Kid from FSU's 41-3 win over Syracuse, and her mom Shaye Johnson.

"Today on this news, today we have kickoff kid!"

That's right, meet Saturday's Kickoff Kid, eight-year-old Shanyia Jackson.

Kickoff Kid is a partnership between Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare and Florida State Athletics to honor children that were once under pediatric care at TMH, including those who went through neo-natal intensive care.

"One more round of applause for Shanyia and her family!"

Shanyia was admitted to TMH for vitamin D deficiency in August 2016. Low vitamin D in kids can cause a condition called rickets... thin, weak or deformed bones. Shaye Johnson says she had never heard of anything like it...

"It was so scary because I did not know what was wrong with her."

Shanyia spent three days at TMH with mom by her side, all while most of us were sheltering from Hurricane Hermine. Now, Shanyia is a bubbly girl who loves to dance. Her mom calls her an inspiration.

I spoke with Rebeccah Lutz from the hospital to find out more about the Kickoff Kid program, which is in its second year. She says parents can apply every season, all you have to do is tell your little one's story of resilience.

"These kids definitely have the unconquered spirit. They've all faced some type of health challenge and have overcome it."

Shanyia got quite the experience on her first visit to Doak Campbell Stadium. When I asked her how often she wants to come back...

"At least one game out of the year"

"No, two games!"

If you're going to any remaining FSU football games this season, be on the lookout for the Kickoff Kid. They're honored at the first timeout of the game.

You can learn more about each Kickoff Kid by checking my web story on In Collegetown, I'm your neighborhood reporter Alberto Camargo, ABC27.