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.