Kinzie Hemann

Kenzie Hemann portrait

Days after her first birthday, Kinzie was diagnosed with von Willebrand disease Type 3, a genetic blood disorder caused by a missing protein, which leaves her blood unable to clot. Type 3 is the most serious of the von Willebrand disease diagnoses, as symptoms include severe and spontaneous bleeding episodes.

Parker Kress

Parker Kress portrait

In December 2014, then-13-year-old Parker Kress was experiencing pain in his right ankle and swelling in his calf. He was taken to a local emergency room, where an ultrasound found a mass on his ankle.

Abigail Hooper

Abigail Hooper portrait

Abby Hooper is a sweet and energetic teenager who loves to cook for her family, work in the garden, and play sports. You’d never know from looking at her that she’s battling a chronic disease.

Liam Young

Liam Young portrait

For Liam, what first appeared to be flu-like symptoms was actually a life-threatening infection known as septicemia, or sepsis. Doctors at a local emergency room sent Liam by helicopter to UI Stead Family Children's Hospital, where his parents learned his liver and kidneys were failing.

Konner Guyer

Konner Guyer portrait

Konner and his twin brother, Kolby, were born in Des Moines prematurely at 28 weeks gestation. Unfortunately, Kolby passed away when he was 6 days old. Konner was transferred to UI Stead Family Children's Hospital for advanced care.

Carley Neustel

Carley Neustel portrait

Carley was rushed by helicopter to UI Stead Family Children's Hospital in September 2015 after a farm accident nearly severed both of her legs below the knees. She had also sustained a broken arm and a large cut on her scalp.

Maxwell Stancel-Hess

Maxwell Stancel-Hess portrait

Max’s team of pediatric specialists at UI Stead Family Children's Hospital began working for him before he was even born, when his parents learned he had spina bifida, a birth defect in which the spinal cord doesn’t develop properly.

Emeline Dunham

Emetine Dunham portrait

When Emeline’s parents learned their daughter had Down syndrome, they knew they wanted her to be born at UI Stead Family Children's Hospital. Newborns with Down syndrome often have health issues, and they wanted a hospital that could care for all of her needs.

Aaron Miller

Aaron Miller portrait

Aaron came to UI Stead Family Children's Hospital emergency department after a routine physical with his local doctor showed he had lost 15 pounds since the previous year and his blood sugar was abnormally high. Aaron was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

Hayden Despenas

Hayden Despenas portrait

Hayden was diagnosed with Friedreich’s ataxia (FA), a rare form of muscular dystrophy, in 2012. He wants to help other children with muscular dystrophy by raising money for research. Hayden also serves as an honorary firefighter with the Mason City Fire Department.

Madelynn Higbee

Madelynn Higbee portrait

Madelynn was referred to UI Stead Family Children's Hospital in July 2014 after being diagnosed with two large masses of fluid that had built up in her neck. The non-malignant masses, known to be caused by the abnormal development of the lymphatic system, caused obstructions in Madelynn’s esophagus, making it difficult for her to swallow and breathe.

Seth Nelson

Seth Nelson portrait

Seth was diagnosed with Chiari malformation—a structural defect in the part of the brain that controls balance. Once the diagnosis was made, the family met with the pediatric neurosurgery team.

Reed Havlik

Reed Havlik portrait

Reed was a healthy toddler until he woke from a nap in November 2014 and was unable to bear weight on his right leg. He and his family were referred to UI Stead Family Children's Hospital after several tests at a hospital closer to home were inconclusive.