IOWA CITY, Iowa — An Iowa family whose son is fighting cancer at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital is showing its support for Carson King and his viral fundraising efforts for the hospital.
Wednesday, Katie Belser posted a photo of her son Eli, who is being treated at the children’s hospital for cancer. It showed Eli, who is wearing a Superman shirt, standing in the portion of the hospital that overlooks the field at Kinnick Stadium and holding a sign that read, “Not all SUPER HERO’s wear capes! Some hold signs…” and then listed King’s Venmo account: Carson-King-25.
Eli is four years old and is battling Stage 4 Neuroblastoma. His mom tells Channel 13, “He is receiving the best care possible at the U and my family is forever grateful. It’s our home away from home.”
Belser’s social media posts of her son’s photo have gone viral themselves on Facebook and Twitter.
Eli’s sign is reminiscent of the one King held up during ESPN’s College GameDay, which was held in Ames on Sept. 14th for the Cy-Hawk rivalry game.
The sign requested beer money and listed his Venmo account. After hundreds of dollars rolled into his account he decided to donate the money to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.
Venmo and Busch Beer pledged to match the donations that came in through the end of September.
Anheuser-Busch severed its relationship with King because of racially-insensitive tweets he made when he was 16, brought to light in a feature article by the Des Moines Register Tuesday night. Ahead of the publishing of the article, King held a news conference to apologize for the tweets he made eight years ago.
Backlash against the newspaper for alleged inappropriate social media posts made by a staffer, and for which the paper is investigating, has brought more attention to the fundraising campaign and donations to King’s Venmo account have spiked.
More businesses have come forward to offer their support for the fundraising campaign as well. An Illinois brewing company, Geneseo Brewing Company, is naming a new beer “Iowa Legend” in honor of King and will donate $1 from every pint and 16 oz. can sold until the beer runs out.
Carson King told Channel 13 Sports Director Keith Murphy that, as of Wednesday night, $1.65 million had been raised for the hospital.