Teen With Rare Heart Defect Named Iowa’s Outback Bowl Kid Captain
Every year the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's hospital chooses 13 current or former pediatric patients to be 'Kid Captains'.
Being a Kid Captain is a big deal as it's a time where each child's inspirational story is honored and celebrated. Plus, they receive a cool "commemorative jersey, special recognition from UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital and the Iowa Hawkeyes, and an invitation to a special behind-the-scenes tour of Kinnick Stadium," according to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital website.
Kid Captain's have been honored all season and now it's Gabe Graber's turn! Gabe is a 13-year-old from Prairie City who will serve as the Kid Captain at the Outback Bowl when the Hawkeyes take on Mississippi State. As stated in a KCRG TV9 report, Gabe was born with a rare heart defect which caused his right ventricle to never fully develop, so the left ventricle is doing work for both. As a toddler, Gabe underwent two heart surgeries and survived a stroke that left him partially paralyzed on his left side. It took him two months to be able to walk again. It's safe to say that this kid is a trooper!
When Gabe Graber takes the field at the Outback Bowl on January 1, it will be his 14th birthday (talk about an awesome way to spend your birthday). Happy Birthday Gabe and Go Hawks!