A Dyersville resident is going to have the opportunity to represent the Iowa Hawkeyes and her family later this fall. Aubrey Bussan-Kluesner is going to be serving as the Kid Captain for the Iowa Hawkeyes before their football game Nov. 16 against Minnesota, just two days before her ninth birthday.
“I started noticing some issues around preschool for her,” Rachel Bussan, Aubrey’s mother said. “Area doctors couldn’t answer any of our questions. They just didn’t see it.”
Rachel Bussan contacted the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. About the time she was in first grade, Aubrey Bussan-Kluesner was put onto a waitlist to get into the hospital.
The family’s youngest daughter, who was born one month early, was delivered at the Stead Family Children’s Hospital, so the family trusted the doctors and nurses.
Bussan-Kluesner was diagnosed with a learning disorder, as well as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), mixed receptive-expressive language disorder, anxiety disorder and speech sound disorder.
“Words can’t describe this opportunity to get in to see these professionals,” Bussan said.
Earlier this summer, some of the patients had the opportunity to tour Kinnick Stadium and interact with the players.
“I liked walking on the field and touring the locker room,” Bussan-Kluesner said. “I also liked the handmade jersey that I was given.”
The kids had the opportunity to walk around Kinnick, visit the locker rooms, walk on the field and meet some of the players. Bussan-Kluesner grew fond of one player specifically who took time to snap a photo with her. That player was starting tight end, Nate Wieting.
“We felt in place meeting families on tour,” Bussan said, “and it was nice talking to other parents who are dealing with similar issues that we are.”
Nov. 16 will be the first Iowa game that Bussan-Kluesner will attend. She expects it to be fun and loud, and her mother is grateful that her daughter will get this opportunity.
“Kids like her never get the chance to be in the spotlight and shine,” Bussan said. “This allows her to do just that.”
The Kid Captain program started in 2009, a year that saw the Iowa football team get off to its best start in program history. 10 years later, Bussan-Kluesner and the other Kid Captains hope to help repeat that success.