Ex-Notre Dame O-Lineman Dillan Gibbons uses NIL freedom for GoFundMe

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When former Notre Dame offensive lineman Dillan Gibbons transferred to Florida State, it made the 2021 season opener more interesting. Now, with the new NIL rules in effect, Gibbons has decided to make the most of it, but he’s not doing it for his own gain. He wants a very special person at Doak Campbell Stadium when the Seminoles and Irish meet on Sept. 5. Given this person’s circumstances, that won’t be easy.

Gibbons has launched a GoFundMe for longtime friend Timothy Donovan, who was born with a condition called VACTERL and later was diagnosed with Charcot Marie Tooth, an incurable disease which has affect the nerves in his feet and hands. The two have bonded at football games over the years, but more recently, Donovan’s condition worsened to the point where he hasn’t been as present. Obviously, COVID-19 would have made that impossible last year anyway.

The GoFundMe was set up to raise money for tickets, transportation, meals and lodging for Donovan and his parents for the weekend of the game. Attendance for the recent high school graduate would be possible not only because COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted, but because he recently underwent successful spine surgery that he has responded very positively to. As of this writing, donors have sent nearly $1,800 for the cause. At this point, the question is not whether Donovan and his parents will be able to go to the game, but how much money will be left over.