Manchester Girl Chosen as Iowa Hawkeyes’ Kid Captain

A Manchester girl will serve as the Iowa Hawkeyes’ Kid Captain at Saturday’s season-opening football game.

7-year old Jaelyn Butikofer was a seemingly healthy baby when she was born in February 2010. But at 4 months old, her parents, Andrea and Aaron, grew concerned about their daughter after they noticed she had trouble eating and trouble growing. After months of testing, she was admitted to University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

Jaelyn’s medical condition remains undiagnosed. Her care team believes she likely suffers from one or more rare disorders, possibly ones that have yet to be discovered.

And while she is confined to a wheelchair, she remains a spunky girl who loves singing and riding the school bus.

Jaelyn has been selected as the Kid Captain at this Saturday’s Iowa’s season opener against Wyoming.

Kid Captain is a partnership with UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital, in which the Iowa Hawkeyes honor pediatric patients and celebrate their inspirational stories.

Jaelyn and this season’s twelve other Kid Captains received a special behind-the-scenes tour of Kinnick Stadium earlier this month, in addition to a commemorative jersey and special recognition during Saturday’s game.

You can find a video of Jaelyn’s story here:


(photo courtesy of University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital)