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University of Iowa News Release


Aug. 29, 2011

At A Glance

Palatine, Ill., boy, 11, is Kid Captain for Hawkeye opener Sept. 3

Benjamin Wilson, 11, of Palatine, Ill., kicks off the 2011 Iowa Hawkeyes football season as Kid Captain when the Hawkeyes take on Tennessee Tech at home Sept. 3.

At age 5, Benjamin, son of David and Vicki Wilson, was diagnosed with severe abnormalities of the retina, the light-sensitive lining inside the eye. There is currently no treatment or cure for the condition, which eventually leads to blindness.

The Foundation Fighting Blindness helped connect the Wilsons with Edwin Stone, M.D., UI professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. Stone's research aims to prevent or treat genetic eye diseases.

Benjamin now meets with Stone annually and is proud to be a pioneer in genetic research into blinding eye diseases.

More information and a video about Benjamin are available at

In its third year, the Kid Captain program is a partnership between UI Children's Hospital and the Iowa Hawkeyes to honor UI Children's Hospital patients and celebrate their stories.

Home game Kid Captains are honored at midfield before the game. All Kid Captains, including honorary away game captains, will have their individual stories told throughout the football season and will receive a commemorative jersey.


Photos for At A Glance items, if available, may be found at

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Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation to participate in a program, please contact the sponsoring department in advance.