BETTENDORF, Iowa — A local teen battling an aggressive and rare form of childhood bone cancer will serve as the “Kid Captain” on Saturday, Sept. 10, as the Iowa Hawkeyes host the Iowa State Cyclones. That Saturday is also the teen’s 15th birthday.
Parker Kress, 14, of Bettendorf was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma in 2014 when he was just 13-years-old. In the spring of 2015, the tumor in his ankle was surgically removed. The University of Iowa Children’s Hospital says Parker has undergone six surgeries, 17 rounds of chemotherapy as well as blood and platelet transfusions.
Through it all, Parker has kept a positive attitude, says his mother, Kristin.
Despite the scary diagnosis, Parker showed maturity early on.
“The first question he had was, ‘Am I going to die?’” remembers Kristin. “But he snapped out of it almost immediately and said, ‘I’m going to fight this, and I’m going to beat it.’”
Ewing’s sarcoma has a high recurrence rate, so he comes back for scans. Parker will have his seventh surgery in October.