The University of Iowa will celebrate its 2018 Kid Captains today at Kids Day at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City.
This season’s Kids Captains and their families will get a special tour of the stadium, meet with some of the coaches and players. The kids will be able to run out of the tunnel with the Hawkeye seniors and spend some time with the players on the field. The kids also will get a commemorative jersey.
The Kid Captain partnership with the UI Stead Family Children’s Hosptial and the Iowa Hawkeyes started in 2009.
The following are the list of this year’s Kids Captain’s
• Sept. 1: Gwen White, 10, of West Burlington. Gwen is in remission for juvenile dermatomyositis, a rare autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks blood vessels throughout the body, resulting in inflammation and muscle weakness.
• Sept. 8: Harper Stribe, 6, of Polk City. Harper was diagnosed with embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, a soft-tissue cancer.
• Sept. 15: Quinn Stumpf, 6, of Riverside. Quinn was born with a genetic disease so rare that it doesn’t have a name. A gene mutation, known as SPATA5, has resulted in various medical conditions, including epilepsy, blindness, hearing loss, dystonia and opisthotonos, a condition which causes severe and rigid muscle spasms.
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• Sept. 22: Kiersten Mann, 14, of Ankeny. Kiersten has limb-girdle muscular dystrophy, a form of muscular dystrophy that weaskesn the muscles in the arms and legs. Due to heart problems she also has received a heart transplant.
• Oct. 6: Ean Gorsh, 9, of North English. Ean has epilepsy and has undergone seven surgeries to stop his seizures.
• Oct. 13: Mason Zabel, 2, of Independence. Mason was diagnosed with phenylketonuria (PKU), a rare genetic disorder that prevents his body from being able to break down the amino acids found in proteins and some artificial sweeteners.
• Oct. 20: Christopher Turnis, 13, of Dubuque. Christopher was born with several organs that were severely damaged. Since his birth, he has undergone more than 40 surgeries. He has eosinophilic esophagitis, a complicated digestive system disorder that requires him to be feed through a G-tube.
• Oct. 27: Noah Hodgins, 9, of Cedar Rapids. Noah was born with an extremely rare birth defect — congenital nasal pyriform aperture stenosis, which made it difficult to breathe. Two surgeries were needed to widen his airways.
• Nov. 3: Harper Still, 3, of Bedford. Last year Harper was diagnosed with E. coli that had turned into E. coli with shiga toxin, producing hemolytic uremic syndrome. In the following three weeks she had surgery, seven days of dialysis, five blood transfusions, and seven platelet transfers. She has now recovered.
• Nov. 10: Mason Gonzalez, 7, of Jesup. Mason has Angelman syndrome, a rare neurogenetic disorder characterized by developmental delays, severe speech impairment, and difficulty with movement and balance.
• Nov. 17: Livia Jackson, 10, of Glenwood. Livia has cyclic vomiting syndrome, a condition marked by episodes of severe vomiting and nausea.
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• Nov. 23: Garret Schuster, 10, of Epworth. Garret has rare genetic disorder called GATA1, which is a severe bleeding disorder where his blood does not clot properly.
• Post season: Gabe Graber, 13, of Prairie City. Gabe was born with a congenital heart defect and needed a series of three open-heart surgeries by the time he was 5. During his second surgery at age 2, he had a stroke and became paralyzed on his left side. With physical and occupational therapy, he was able to walk two months later.
For more information on this year’s Kid Captains, visit Uichildrens.org/kid-captain.