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Sam Spore of Dysart will be Kid Captain at Saturday’s Iowa Hawkeyes game.

COURTESY PHOTO

IOWA CITY — Sam Spore, 15, son of Heidi and Chad Spore of Dysart, will serve as Kid Captain when the Hawkeyes host North Texas on Saturday.

Sam was born in Uganda and lived in an orphanage there until he was 12, two years after first meeting the couple that would become his parents.

He was born with hydrocephalus — fluid on the brain — as well as spina bifida, a birth defect in which bones don’t form properly around the spinal cord.

Two weeks after arriving in Iowa in February 2015, Sam was taken to a local hospital with a blood clot in his left leg. Doctors there weren’t equipped to deal with that kind of clot in a child, so Sam was airlifted to University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. Once there, doctors addressed his blood clot and other issues.

Today, Sam is more independent and undergoes physical and occupational therapy, has neurosurgery and urology check-ups and sees pediatric hematology specialists to address a blood disorder — all while maintaining his sense of humor.

For more information and a video about Sam, go to uichildrens.org/2017-sam.

Now in its ninth year, the Kid Captain program is a partnership between UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital and the Iowa Hawkeyes to honor pediatric patients and celebrate their inspirational stories.

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