Leave it to Vein Specialists of the South PA Heidi Atkins, a young woman with a beautiful heart and amazing talents, to come up with a fitting tribute for a college friend who passed away shortly after we all rang in the new year. Heidi attended Clemson University in South Carolina where she met and became best friends with Rhett, a fellow football fan and Clemson Tiger. And even though they grew apart, as many college friends tend to do, they had football and kept in touch.
Rhett struggled with his weight since childhood and eventually developed a condition called NASH, a non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and a side effect of this condition caused cirrhosis of the liver and liver failure.
On the day Clemson won the semi-final game over Oklahoma, Rhett was placed on the transplant list. Sadly, Rhett lost his battle on Jan. 4, 2016 and is now with the angels in heaven. His life lives on in the minds and hearts of his fellow Clemson Tigers, especially this week with the pre-game celebrations and CFP Championship game against Alabama’s Crimson’s Tide.
Heidi and her fellow Clemson Tigers decided to pay tribute to Rhett during their first National Championship Game for their alma mater in 35 years by making this game Rhett’s National Championship ( #RhettsNationalChampionship). Rhett’s family sent Rhett’s Clemson hat and shirt, which Heidi took with her for the pre-game celebrations, rallies and the game to make sure he was with all of them in spirit, cheering on their favorite college team.