The Kid Captain for the Hawkeyes’ game against Northwestern will be a girl from Camanche.

The nine-year-old overcame a rare brain tumor. It wasn’t cancerous, but still took a big toll on her young life, battling headaches and eye pain for years.

“I lived seven years with just complete blackouts basically every time I blinked,” Elyna Clements said.

After starting second grade, she began to worry.

“I was definitely scared, which I feel like anyone would be scared.”

She was taken to a local doctor where she passed all of vision screenings. But shortly after, her family began noticing a difference in her character.

The doctor discovered that Elyna had a mass behind her eye.

Doctors at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital discovered that Elyna had a rare brain tumor called craniopharyngioma.

A year later after undergoing a nine-hour procedure, the family began seeing Elyna get back to what they were used to.

Elyna still experiences some lingering affects, but says she has learned a lot during this process. And is proud to be sharing her story with others.

“I think I’ve come really far from that and I think and I kind of understand a little more of what a brain tumor is,” Elyna said. “I was definitely hoping that it would go smoothly and I could get out pretty soon. I was there longer than I expected — but I’m here.”

She’s also proud to be a new Kid Captain.

“My parents didn’t tell me that they were submitting my story, and when I was told, I was so excited,” Elyna said. “I just wanted to tell everyone immediately but I couldn’t.”

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