IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Jaelyn Butikofer, 7, of Manchester, will be the Kid Captain for the home opener when the Hawkeyes take on Wyoming on September 2.
Jaelyn is the daughter of Aaron and Andrea Butikofer.
Jaelyn was a healthy baby when she was born in February 2010.
By four months old, she started losing weight and missing some of her growth milestones.
After months of testing by Jaelyn’s local doctor, the family was referred to University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. She was 10 months old and weighed 10 pounds.
Once she was at UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital, her care team suggested using a feeding tube to provide the nutrients she needed to grow. They also recommended genetic testing to determine the cause of her symptoms, which include muscle weakness, involuntary eyelid twitching, scoliosis, severe reflux, brittle bones, and developmental delays.
Jaelyn has undergone multiple tests and procedures as well as years of genetic testing.
Doctors believe she likely has a rare disorder, or multiple rare disorders, and have yet to determine a diagnosis.
Jaelyn is a spunky girl full of life, who loves singing and riding the school bus.
Now in its ninth 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. For more information, visit uichildrens.org/kidcaptain.