Polk City, Iowa girl is Kid Captain at Hawkeye game

IOWA CITY, Iowa-   A six-year-old Polk City, Iowa girl will be this week's "Kid Captain" for the football game between the University of Iowa and Iowa State University.

Doctors first thought Harper Stribe had a viral infection, but her symptoms continued to worsen, so her parents pressed for more testing. 

An MRI showed that the swelling in Harper’s cheek was a tumor and she was  referred to University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.  Doctors there determined she had embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancerous tumor that forms in skeletal muscles. 

The six-centimeter tumor was wrapped around her jawbone and facial nerves, so surgery was not an option.  Harper underwent a 45-week protocol of chemotherapy and six weeks of radiation before being declared cancer-free in May this year.  

Celebrating its 10th year, the Kid Captain program is a partnership between UI Stead Family Children's Hospital and the Iowa Hawkeyes to honor pediatric patients and celebrate their inspirational stories.

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