On November 4, 2017, the University of Iowa Hawkeyes will take on Ohio State at the annual “black out” game in Kinnick stadium. At the end of the first quarter, 70,000 fans will turn to the new University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital (“UISFCH”) to wave at the children and families watching the game from their rooms. Kinnick’s newest tradition is among the most heartfelt and meaningful, creating an opportunity to remind the children at the hospital that no one fights alone when they have 70,000 Hawkeye fans in their corner.
Three Des Moines families have come together to build upon the Hawkeyes newest “Wave” tradition to raise money for UISFCH. Shirts will debut at the November 4 black out game and read, “Wave. Iowa City Fights Together.” The shirts are available for purchase at www.theiowawaveshirt.org.
The goal in creating these shirts is two-fold: first, to raise significant dollars for The University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital with 100% of profits donated to UISFCH and two, to remind kids at the hospital that others care, as they look out on a sea of fans who have intentionally chosen to wear a shirt in their honor. One hundred percent of the profit from the sale of the shirts, available in adult and youth sizes, will be donated to The University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.
Inception of the idea to raise money for UISFCH came after two of the families had children treated at UIHC. Further, both of those families have a special connection to Kinnick:
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-John Mickelson, a former Hawkeye football player who earned his MBA and JD at The University of Iowa, and his wife, Brooke, a University of Iowa graduate and former Miss Iowa USA, have a son who is currently treated at UISFCH. Hunter’s treatment began in 2015 as an infant when he was diagnosed with a life-threatening genetic condition, nephrogenic diabetes insipidus. The Mickelson’s, who have three older boys, spent two and a half weeks at UISFCH to stabilize Hunter’s then life-threatening condition. Hunter is now treated monthly by a UISFCH pediatric nephrologist. While his prognosis is excellent, his condition will demand continued care throughout his life. Hunter is also closely followed by the pediatric genetics team due to the rareity of his condition as well as a team of endocrine doctors for a non related thyroid issue. The Mickelson’s live in West Des Moines, where John serves as a city councilman.
-When Cy Phillips, also a former Hawkeye football player and University of Iowa graduate, and his wife Meighan started dating during their freshman year at the University of Iowa, they had no idea they would ever utilize the medical resources of the University’s renowned children’s hospital. Last summer, that changed in an instant. The parents of four have a daughter, Genevieve, now 4, that was treated at UISFCH for a life-threatening acute illness in 2016 that developed after she contracted E.coli. Genevieve’s medical condition escalated when the infection developed into Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, and she was sent via ambulance to UISFCH when medical resources to fight her condition were not available in Des Moines. Genevieve made a full recovery, though her nephrology team in Iowa City will continue to follow her progress through her teen years.
-Lifelong Hawkeye fans and avid children’s charity supporters, Jason and Lori Willis, joined with the Mickelson and Phillips families in this joint effort to benefit UISFCH. Jason grew up in Des Moines and attended many Hawkeye games throughout his childhood. He has fond memories of hosting family tailgates outside of Kinnick and cheering the team onto many victories. As the parents of three young children, much of their philanthropic efforts are focused on care for children, though they continue their game day tradition frequently by bringing their children to Kinnick to cheer for the Hawkeyes.