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Jeremy Ioane is a warrior

Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Boise State senior safety Jeremy Ioane is known for his warrior face paint, but now after months of rumors and innuendos about what's kept him from being a bigger contributor to the Bronco defense...the full extent of his warrior mentality has been laid bare. Last night, the Statesman's Chadd Cripe finally dropped the news that many had just whispered about. Ioane's reduced playing time has been due to something far more serious than a bum knee or a sprain. Ioane needs a kidney transplant...and he's been playing through the pain for TWO YEARS. That's right, Ioane, whose kidney function is down to just 1 percent and has to undergo dialysis every night—played at a all-conference level despite suffering from IgA nephropathy. That's more than a warrior...that's a minor miracle.

To say that Bronco Nation is behind Ioane is an understatement. Jeremy is a quiet, private person off the field and only those close to the situation knew the truth behind his diminishing health...yet he's soldiered on and played whenever his body allows him to. I've personally heard the rumors of Ioane's condition for months and have seen him on the trainers' table during Bronco home games looking sick as a dog...the pain evident on his face. Ioane is on the waiting list for a new kidney—potentially from his own mother, Doris—but Ioane's heart is in perfect order...and might be bigger than any I've ever seen on the Bronco team.

This Thanksgiving, remember to give thanks for your health—it's a precious thing...and while you're at it, maybe give thanks for a kid from Honolulu that could have gone to South Bend, but instead came to Boise and showed us what the Polynesian warrior mindset is really about.

A fundraising page has been set up for Ioane to help cover his looming medical expenses (his Boise State insurance will lapse upon graduation)...I urge everyone to make this link go viral...if we can reach an OBNUG equipment goal in a matter of hours, $20k is nothing. I just donated to get the OBNUG wave rolling. Let's do this!