Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital opened in February of 2017 to serve the Iowa community. The hospital is egg-shaped. Ferentz, who was involved in some aspects of the design, says the curves help eliminate some of the outer sounds. The hospital feels like an extension of Kinnick—like some sort of high-tech treehouse of the future sitting over its shoulder. According to Bleacher Report, “The plan had always been to continue to strengthen the marriage between the football program and the hospital—a union that stretches back to Ferentz's time as an assistant in the '80s.”
One Iowa fan wrote on a Facebook page earlier in the year, saying how cool would it be if all the fans turned and waved to the kids for a minute or two each game. The idea quickly gained traction and the hospital took notice. The hospital worked in conjunction with the football team to plan something for the first home game.
"We're so quick to disagree on everything," Ferentz said. "We're so quick to have confrontation as a nation. And here is one thing everyone can feel really good about. The attention for these kids and their families is what this is all about."
The Bleacher Report continued, “The existence of this magnificent new ritual is a reminder of why it has to exist to begin with—that there are things no child or parent should ever have to endure inside these walls. It's also a reminder of the power of the human spirit—a moment when a city of strangers can stand together as one, supporting faces they cannot see and struggles most cannot understand.”
This is what the power of sports can do – it can provide hope and cheer to those in the most difficult circumstances. Sports can provide a glimmer of happiness and put a smile on a child’s face… it can create a distraction. Most important, sports can create memories and experiences that will change a person’s life for the better.
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