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Cancer survivor experiences “The Wave” as a patient and inside the stadium

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 6:06 AM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - It’s been five years since the wave started. A tradition where fans take a moment to put football aside during every home game and make the young patients inside the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital know people care.

Morgan Labelle was one of those patients. At 17, she learned she had B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Since then, she has been on both sides of the window for the wave as a patient and inside the stadium.

“When you can have a special moment with thousands of people, but not be face to face with them, is just really amazing,” said Morgan.

Now in remission, she says it’s something that has stuck with her and other patients ever since it started five years ago.

“I can just tell the magnitude of how much it means to the kids and families in the hospital, and how much it means to the fans too to wave to the kids,” said Morgan.

In the era of COVID-19 and limits on visitors and other contact, Morgan knows firsthand how much more the wave must mean to current patients.

“In my head I know that they’re so happy to get to do the wave because during COVID there’s no volunteers, no one that can hang out with them like those volunteers,” said Morgan. “So I know that for these families it’s just a little bit of a break from having to think about their diagnosis.”

What she witnessed in kindness and generosity also influenced her college decision.

“I am now a third year student at the University of Iowa studying nursing and psychology in hopes of being a psych nurse,” said Morgan.

The tradition that’s positively impacted many, started 5 years ago as a suggestion on social media.

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