Austin is a 2014 Kid Captain | Blank Children's Hospital

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Altoona, Iowa 50009

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Des Moines, Iowa 50312

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3625 N. Ankeny Blvd.
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Ankeny, Iowa 50023

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6000 University Avenue
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4020 Merle Hay Road
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Des Moines, Iowa 50310

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6520 SE 14th St.
Des Moines, Iowa 50320

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2901 86th Street
Urbandale, Iowa 50322

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Blank Children's Hospital


“Most people never get to meet their hero, but we are the proud parents of ours,” said Sarah and Nick Betts of their son Austin.

Kids should get to be kids, but for Austin, he had to grow up very quickly – way too early. In March 2011, two weeks before Austin turned 6-years-old, a trip to the emergency room turned into a day the Betts family would never forget. Austin was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, a life-threatening disease predominantly affecting the lungs and digestive system.

“Our family was devastated when we found out Austin would no longer get to live life as just a ‘normal little boy’,” said Sarah. “We were speechless, we shed so many tears, and it felt like our world had just crumbled. But Austin takes each day in stride.”

Three years later, you won’t find Austin complaining about his situation. Instead, he fights it just as much as his parents do. Each day, Austin completes breathing treatments, three nebulizer treatments and takes a minimum of 24 pills, yet manages to keep a smile on his face and maintains nothing but an encouraging attitude. As Austin’s aged, Sarah and Nick have slowly begun to share a little more and more with him regarding Cystic Fibrosis, and he has taken it all very well. This complex disease has made him want to know how to keep himself healthy. And others.

“We are so proud of the way Austin has accepted this disease in a positive way, helping fundraise for Cystic Fibrosis,” said Sarah. “He’s even presented information in a PowerPoint for his classmates with little help from his mom and dad.”  

In his free time, Austin loves staying active, getting outside and playing soccer, basketball, football, riding his bike and running around with his brothers and friends. He’s also extremely creative, drawing frequently and building Legos. Despite holding so much responsibility, Austin is a happy kid with a spiritual connection to God that his mom describes as “out of this world.”

“Austin is a great kid; he has a heart of gold, always thinking of others and how he can help,” said Sarah. “He carries a positive attitude and always wants to do his best. We hope he can inspire others as much as he inspires us!”

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