An Alburnett girl has been named the first Hawkeye Kid Captain of 2023.
Gracelyn Springer will serve as the Kids Captain when Iowa kicks off the football season on Saturday against Utah State.
When she was eight years old, Gracelyn was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma, a cancer that typically occurs in leg bones, or the soft tissue of the chest, abdomen and limbs. But her doctors discovered the tumor in her head, which is considered extremely rare.
Gracelyn underwent brain surgery at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital to remove the mass and began chemotherapy. She also was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, a disease that makes it harder for the heart to deliver blood to the body.
Her cancer is now in remission.
Along with Springer, this year’s Iowa Hawkeye Kid Captains are:
Nile Kron of Iowa City
Maggie Larson of Urbandale
Gabby Ford of Fairfield
Wyatt Rannals of Cedar Rapids
Max Schlee of Farmersburg
Madi Ramirez of LeClaire
Bentley Erickson of Brainerd, Minnesota
Lincoln Veach of Maquoketa
Chloe Dinkla of Winterset
Cooper Estenson of North Liberty
Nathan McDonald of Delta
photo courtesy of University of Iowa