Current, former patients represent hospital at Hawkeye football games
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
kid captain portraits
The 2016 Kid Captains. Top row, left to right: Kinzie Hemann, Parker Kress, Abigail Hooper, Liam Young, Konner Guyer, Carley Neustel, Maxwell Stancel-Hess, and Emeline Dunham. Bottom row, left to right: Aaron Miller, Hayden Despenas, Madelynn Higbee, Seth Nelson, and Reed Havlik.

It’s an exciting year for University of Iowa Children’s Hospital, and this year’s Kid Captain lineup is ready to kick off another great season with the Iowa Hawkeyes football team.

Thirteen current and former UI Children’s Hospital patients will take their turn representing the hospital as Kid Captains during the Iowa Hawkeyes’ 2016 football season. 

The Kid Captain program began in 2009 as a partnership between UI Children's Hospital and the Iowa Hawkeyes to honor pediatric patients and celebrate their inspirational stories. This year's Kid Captains were selected from a group of 310 nominees from four states.

“Every year I am amazed by the strength and courage our Kid Captains show, all while still being kids,” says Scott Turner, executive director of UI Children’s Hospital. “This year is no exception. The Kid Captains and their families are the faces of bravery, and they all truly represent why we are dedicated to changing kids’ lives. Congratulations to these 13 courageous boys and girls for being selected as our 2016 Kid Captains.”

The 2016 Kid Captains are: 

  • Hayden Despenas, 13, Mason City
  • Emeline Dunham, 10, Wapello
  • Konner Guyer, 7, Eddyville
  • Reed Havlik, 3, Jesup
  • Kinzie Hemann, 7, Reinbeck
  • Madelynn Higbee, 12, Monmouth, Illinois 
  • Abigail Hooper, 12, Des Moines
  • Parker Kress, 14, Bettendorf
  • Aaron Miller, 11, Hawkeye
  • Seth Nelson, 15, Remsen
  • Carley Neustel, 10, Central City
  • Maxwell Stancel-Hess, 11, Marion
  • Liam Young, 3, Cuba City, Wisconsin 

All Kid Captains and their families will be invited to Kids Day at Kinnick Stadium on August 13 for a special behind-the-scenes tour. Each child’s story will be highlighted during the football season. Visit for more information about each Kid Captain.