Posted - 06/15/2013 : 05:48:19 AM
Co-Creator Genie the Genius
Published by: Ape Entertainment/After Hours Press
Interviewed by: Richard Vasseur/Jazma VP
Rich: How was the Genie the Gene / Genie the Genius character created?
Boomer: My son, Gunnar, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at the age of two. Understanding the disease was a challenge for adults, let alone children. Lee Becker, a close friend from our days at the University of Maryland, who helped me create the Boomer Esiason Foundation, sat with me at an event in New York city in the late 1990’s. We discussed our frustration regarding the complexities and challenges associated with understanding the disease. And, more importantly, getting others to understanding the importance of patient compliance. Lee had watched the Magic School Bus on television with his young children that day and suggested that we create a version for the cystic fibrosis community. I said, “how about a cartoon character that looks like a gene?” One of us blurted out “Genie the Gene!” Children would be excited to have a cool cartoon character teach them about CF. And, parents, whether admitted or not, would learn too. Genie the Gene would travel through the body and explain everything in simple terms. Not just the cause and effects of the disease, but how much better the quality of life can be when compliant to treatments. Once we realized the positive impact Genie the Gene could have on all children and their families, we asked Darren Sanchez to help us expand on our concept. Genie the Genius was answer.
Rich: Are you or anyone you know at all like any of the characters in the "Genie the Genius" comic book?
Boomer: I believe that Genie and Gunnar are similar in many ways. Their thirst for knowledge, interest in history and compassion for others is evident. Their positive outlook on life is shared as well.
Rich: Can you tell us about the Boomer Esiason Foundation and why Cystic Fibrosis is important to you personally?
Boomer: When Gunnar was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, in 1993, my immediate thoughts were to retire from the NFL and take care of my son. Within a few minutes I realized that the best way to help my son, and others coping with the disease, was to use my celebrity as a vehicle and fight for all those affected. The Boomer Esiason Foundation was created within a few short months and we’ve represented the CF community ever since.
Boomer Esiason Foundation: Mission & Credo
The Boomer Esiason Foundation is a dynamic partnership of leaders in the medical and business communities joining with a committed core of volunteers to heighten awareness, education and quality of life for those affected by cystic fibrosis, while providing financial support to research aimed at finding a cure.
The Boomer Esiason Foundation works to ensure that:
· The brightest researchers and scientists, who every day come closer to finding a cure for cystic fibrosis, have the resources they need to expand and accelerate their efforts;
· Dedicated doctors and caregivers have access to innovative and effective treatments that ease the suffering and enhance the lives of the children and adults afflicted with cystic fibrosis;
· People from all walks of life are educated and motivated to become committed participants in the ongoing battle against cystic fibrosis;
· Those directly affected by cystic fibrosis are encouraged and empowered to fully understand this deadly disease and to take active roles in combating it; and
· Students and hospital staffs are provided with the financial resources and educational tools they need to prepare for life’s challenges and to create a legacy of quality healthcare for generations to come.
To achieve its mission, the Boomer Esiason Foundation sponsors a series of diverse annual fundraising events. It also relies on individual pledges, corporate contributions and philanthropic grants.
The Boomer Esiason Foundation exists to inspire and support those with cystic fibrosis.
We believe each individual with CF has a voice.
We believe each voice should be heard, for it is those voices that give us both understanding and direction in our fight.
We believe our fight is one of great purpose.
We are a conduit for all with CF so they may speak their minds, no matter how difficult the truth might be.
We believe in the power of positive reinforcement, exercise and enlightenment.
Our ultimate goal is to free the world of CF; while we wait, we will improve the lives of those who live with the disease.
Our mission will be fulfilled ethically, professionally and with determination.
We will never waiver or compromise in our mission and beliefs.
We will never quit; we are here to finish this task as we fulfill our destiny
Rich: Before "Genie the Genius" did you ever have any involvement with comics even as just a fan?
Boomer: I was a typical kid growing up in the 60’s and 70’s. Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, etc. Until we began this project I was unaware of how large the comic community is. I was amazed to learn that some of the best movies, even recently, began as comics.