7-year-old Jaelyn Butikofer of Manchester will be helping the Hawkeyes kick off their new season this Saturday!

Just a few short weeks ago, the lovely people here in Eastern Iowa helped us raise over $119,000 for kids and families at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital with our 21st Annual Radiothon. We got to meet and interview some of the truly amazing kids who have spent some time in the hospital and get a better idea of the struggles they have overcome and continue to face every day. These kids truly are superheroes, which is why we absolutely LOVE the Kid Captain program at the hospital.

In case you don't know, every year the UI Children's Hospital teams up with the Hawkeyes to honor pediatric patients by naming them 'Kid Captains.' The chosen kids are each assigned a specific game to be recognized. Since the first game is coming up on Saturday, we wanted to recognize the very first Kid Captain of the year, Jaelyn Butikofer of Manchester!

7-year-old Jaelyn has gone through extensive testing in her lifetime, but she still has an undetermined diagnosis. According the the hospital's website, "her care team believes she likely suffers from one or more rare disorders, possibly ones that have yet to be discovered." Despite her medical issues, Jaelyn is seen as a huge inspiration to others and is described as "spunky, fun, and full of life."

We wish you the best of luck on Saturday, Jaelyn! Keep being awesome! :)

[Via UI Childrens/KCRG]