Kid Captain: Nathan McDonald

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Nathan McDonald and his family are used to overcoming difficult odds and medical challenges.

Nathan was transferred to University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital shortly after birth when skeletal deformities and a hunch in his back were detected. He was diagnosed with infantile myofibromatosis, a rare tumor that grows in the skin, muscles, bones, and sometimes the organs of the chest or abdomen, which can then damage nearby organs.

“There was nothing on the ultrasound to indicate any pregnancy issues,” says Nathan’s mother, Kylie McDonald, who helped raise Nathan from a young age and adopted him and his brother several years ago.

Nathan was born right before Thanksgiving at a local hospital and was rushed to UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital when abnormalities were detected because “they knew that’s where he needed to be,” Kylie says.

“In the beginning, Nathan’s prognosis was grim,” she recalls. Nathan’s birth mom and his father, Eric McDonald, were told to enjoy the holidays because they “may not get any more time than that.”

Read Nathan’s story here.