Just over a month ago Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll lost his grandmother, Ruth Kirsten, who passed away just prior to the Washington game. Just three weeks later her spouse and Daboll's grandfather, Chris Kirsten also passed. The two people who raised Buffalo's offensive play caller in West Seneca passed away on weekends very close to the time when Daboll was preparing for games. It took a lot of focus and compartmentalizing the terrible loss of family to keep him on task.
"I think everybody goes through struggles and different adversity at different times, whatever it may be personal or professional, and you've got to stay focused," said Daboll. "You've got to stay committed to the cause. The two people that I lost would want it to be that way anyways, as I'm sure most people that have loved ones they've lost would want them to be focused and committed to what they're doing. So with a lot of good people around you, you lean on people that you love and trust, and certainly the players and the coaches here are part of that extended family for me. So it's just come in day to day and roll up your sleeves and go to work."
Daboll's fellow coaches have marveled as his ability to stay on task and keep Buffalo's offense an elite point producer through his unfortunate personal losses.
"I tell you, my heart goes out to him," said defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. "Our team, we've tried to be as supportive as we can. He has been a tremendous model and example for all of us. Just seeing how he's handled things. And I can only imagine what he's been going through. But he has been so positive, and handled it, at least on the surface in such a great way. It's been an inspiration to all of us. And, you know, we're all praying for him and his family. But it's been tough. I can only imagine some of the things that he thinks about when he's alone. But we're trying our best to be supportive of him as a team and as a staff. Just let him know how much we love him and how much we want to support him during this difficult time."
Daboll's grandfather was a dedicated groundskeeper at West Seneca West high school for 30 years and the school has set up a fundraising effort on Kirsten's behalf. Donations can be made in Kirsten's honor by being mailed to West Seneca West Football Alumni, 3330 Seneca Street, West Seneca, NY 14224. Additionally, there remains a fundraising initiative in honor of Daboll's grandmother as well for St. Jude's Children's Research hospital to help end childhood cancer.