Meet Our All-Star

From the moment Nile Kron was born, he has been a patient at University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. Nile was born at 32 weeks 4 days on Feb. 21, 2017. He spent 51 days in the NICU, but not only because Nile was pre-mature. Nile was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate, scoliosis, absent right ear, Coloboma of his left eye and a tethered cord -- diagnosis on their own that present difficulties, but diagnosis he received at once, setting up a difficult journey ahead for Nile and his parents.

On Oct. 10, 2017, Nile had his first of many surgeries. This procedure was to fix his cleft lip and palate at UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital. Nile’s next surgery was to separate his spinal cord from his vertebrate. This complex and invasive procedure brought on a long road of recovery for Nile. He went on to have cleft lip and palate surgery plus another surgery to close off his left inner ear canal to prohibit infection, extensive oral surgeries, and a hernia removal surgery. In June of 2020, Nile had two rods placed in his back to fix his congenital scoliosis rods that must be adjusted every three months at UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital until Nile is done growing. One of Nile’s most exciting surgeries was the placement of his cochlear implants, tools that will help Nile hear and verbally communicate.

Nile loves being around people and thrives when he is around others thanks to the specialized treatment he received at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. "He lights up any room that he is in and is positive despite the challenges he experiences on a day-to-day basis. Even though Nile is only 4 years old, he is always determined to succeed. He has worn everything from a mouthpiece, to back braces, to foot braces," said Brittany, Nile’s mom. "This will be nothing that stops him no matter his size."

"We are excited to welcome Nile into the Ace All-Star family," said Kane Calamari, President of the Ace Hardware Foundation. "Nile and his family will join Ace in raising awareness for CMN Hospitals and generating essential funding for other children facing illness. His story of bravery, perseverance and hope is one that we know will inspire our Ace community and beyond."

Nile was selected by the Ace Foundation following a nationwide campaign that gave every Children’s Miracle Network Hospital an opportunity to nominate a deserving patient. As the ninth All-Star for the Ace Cares for Kids Program, a $10,000 donation from Duracell will be made to University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital in Nile’s honor. Throughout the year, Nile will make special appearances and will be treated to exciting surprises from Ace Hardware.

As a proud supporter of CMN Hospitals, Ace Hardware is dedicated to raising funds for children’s hospitals across the country, including University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital. Over the past 30 years, the Ace Foundation has raised more than $160 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.