Opposing College Football Teams Join Forces to Brighten the Spirit of Hospitalized Kids With 'The Wave'

For patients at the Stead Family Children's Hospital, the tradition is working wonders for the children.

A simple gesture by tens of thousands of football fans is working wonders for hospitalized children week after week.

“The Wave” happens at every University of Iowa home game, right after the first quarter. Everyone in the stadium, more than 70,000 people turn up and wave to the kids at The Stead Family Children's Hospital, which overlooks the stadium. 

Many of the kids are fighting for their lives and “The Wave” is a small but significant act dedicated to picking up their spirits. 

One young boy, Will Cohen, is recovering from a heart transplant. Sam Burke, 10, had brain surgery last week, and young Reid Gleason is battling brain cancer. 

“It's a pretty dark time in here but this is one of the bright shining moments we look forward to on the weekends,” Gleason's father told Inside Edition. 

The Stead Family Children's Hospital opened its doors just before the start of the football season.

The idea of "The Wave" came from a simple fan suggestion on Facebook

“Can you imagine how neat it would be to have all of those fans, players, & coaching staff looking up at you sending a little extra inspiration?" a post on the social networking site read.

 And so, a tradition was born.

Every single person — the fans, the players and the opposing team — turn to the top floor where all the kids are assembled and wave. 

 During night games, they use their cell phones with the flashlights turned on.

Fans love doing it and the kids and families wave back to the crowd from the hospital.