Big Ten Announces 2020 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament Tipoff Kids
Two patients from Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at Ascension St. Vincent selected as first tipoff kids for championship game

ROSEMONT, Ill. – Two patients from Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at Ascension St. Vincent (PMCH) have been selected as the first-ever Tipoff Kids for the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament, the conference announced Sunday. Katelyn Cocanower and Olivia Lipko-McKinney were chosen by the children’s hospital’s care team to serve as the tipoff kids for today’s championship game.

Both Tipoff Kids will receive tickets to the game for their family, the chance to be on the court during warmups, the opportunity to deliver the game ball to the officials, photos at center court, a meet and greet with Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren and a Big Ten gift bag.

Katelyn Cocanower is an active 11-year-old from Monticello, Ind. Like many sixth graders, she enjoys crafting, playing games, riding her bike and being with friends. In September 2019, Katelyn was diagnosed with a brain tumor that required surgical treatment. Dr. Jodi Smith, a pediatric neurosurgeon at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital, was able to successfully remove the tumor.

After spending six days in the hospital, Katelyn was released to go home to recover for three weeks before going back to school for half-day increments. She was able to return to school full-time recently and will continue to see Dr. Smith to ensure the tumor has not returned. Katelyn was selected for this opportunity because of her resiliency and constant sweet nature throughout her medical journey.

Eleven-year-old Olivia Lipko-McKinney was diagnosed with a brain tumor that required surgery in May 2011. Within a few months, the tumor began to grow again and a second surgery was performed in February 2012. Since it was not possible to remove the entire tumor during this surgery, Olivia underwent six weeks of radiation.

Her brain tumor has not returned, but she has developed a rare blood vessel disease called moyamoya. Olivia underwent a third brain surgery in November 2018 and was the first patient at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital to undergo Pial Synangiosis surgery for this disease. Her care team at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital includes pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Jodi Smith, hematologist and oncologist Dr. Jessica Goodman, pediatric neurologist Dr. Lisa McQuire, and the endocrinology team. Olivia was chosen for this opportunity because of her positive attitude and resilient spirit throughout her medical journey.

For more information on this year’s Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament, visit the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament Central page at bigten.org/wbbt.

About Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at Ascension St. Vincent (PMCH)
Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at Ascension St. Vincent (PMCH) is a full service, dedicated children’s medical center, providing the highest quality, family-centered care to children and adolescents in the state of Indiana. PMCH has over 160 licensed beds, which include a 23-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, 17-bed Pediatric Emergency Department and a 97-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Our highly experienced pediatric specialists represent more than 40 specialties, allowing our team to treat both medical and surgical needs of children of all ages.

Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital is the home to Indiana’s largest Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, offering advanced medical care for the most complex and critically ill newborns. The NICU at PMCH has been designated a Level IV unit, which provides the highest level and most acute care, as established by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital is part of Ascension’s St. Vincent, which operates 20 hospitals in addition to a comprehensive network of affiliated joint ventures, medical practices and clinics that cover a 57-county area and employ more than 15,000 associates. Serving Indiana for 136 years, Ascension is a faith-based healthcare organization committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. Ascension is the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system, operating 2,500 sites of care – including 141 hospitals and more than 30 senior living facilities – in 24 states and the District of Columbia. Visit www.peytonmanningch.org.

About the Big Ten Conference
The Big Ten Conference is an association of world-class universities whose member institutions share a common mission of research, graduate, professional and undergraduate teaching and public service. Founded in 1896, the Big Ten has sustained a comprehensive set of shared practices and policies that enforce the priority of academics in the lives of students competing in intercollegiate athletics and emphasize the values of integrity, fairness and competitiveness. The broad-based programs of the 14 Big Ten institutions will provide over $200 million in direct financial support to more than 9,800 students for more than 11,000 participation opportunities on 350 teams in 42 different sports. The Big Ten sponsors 28 official conference sports, 14 for men and 14 for women, including the addition of men’s ice hockey and men’s and women’s lacrosse since 2013. For more information, visit www.bigten.org.