Levi & Julia
On February 20, 2012, Toby and Emily Larsen got the news no parents ever want to hear: their 11-month-old daughter, Julia, had Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML), cancer of the blood and bone marrow.
After her diagnosis, Julia began vigorous treatment at Blank Children's Hospital, undergoing chemotherapy treatments, bone marrow biopsies, spinal tests, MRI's and much more. Yet, despite all the tests, Julia maintained her smile and brought joy to all those around her. Through all of this, Julia had a superhero giving her extra strength - her older brother, Levi.
Only 4-years-old, Levi was a bone marrow transplant match for his sister, and he was delighted at the chance to help.
"He loved telling everyone how his superpowers were going to help Julia feel better," said Emily.
Despite having a bone marrow match in her brother, Julia was unable to receive a bone marrow transplant. Even though Julia's family, doctors and loved ones did everything possible to make her better, Julia's cancer worsened and she died on July 18, 2012.
Julia battle was heroic and inspiring. Throughout it all, her big brother was a source of joy, inspiration and love. In her honor, Levi will take the field with the Iowa State Cyclones as a Kid Captain.
"We know Julia would have loved to see her superhero brother as a Kid Captain," said Emily.