Grant for leukemia research given in honor of Virginia girl

Grant for leukemia research given in honor of Virginia girl
Rowan Price (Source: WDBJ)

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - A fund created in honor of a Roanoke girl has been announced by the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a private funder of childhood cancer research grants. RowOn 4 a Cure is in place in honor of Rowan Price, who died in 2019 at age four, and it will support childhood cancer research at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals.

Dr. Benjamin Huang at UCSF will use the grant to continue research to improve cures rates for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), which St. Baldrick’s says is the second most common blood cancer in children.

Rowan was diagnosed in October 2018 with a rare form of leukemia, AML M7, also known as acute megakaryocytic leukemia (AMKL). Her treatment included chemotherapy, total body radiation, and a successful cord blood transplant, according to St. Baldrick’s. She was declared cancer-free in May 2019, but relapsed a month later. She passed away in September 2019 after two failed clinical trials.

Shortly after, her family started RowOn 4 a Cure to honor her legacy and raise funds to support research focused on finding a cure for acute myeloid leukemia. With the family’s motto, “one step at a time,” they continue to “row on” and have raised more than $59,000.

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In honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September, Rowan’s family is asking people to participate in a virtual 5K walk/run or 10K bike ride where people can raise pledges for the miles they walk, run or bike at home. To participate, visit the Race 4 Rowan: Smiles4Miles fundraising page, and click the blue “join us” button.

St. Baldrick’s Hero Funds are an ongoing way for friends, family members and groups to donate or raise funds to honor loved ones. To learn more about the program, visit the St. Baldrick’s Hero Fund page.

“It’s really touching just to see the impact that Rowan made on everybody. I mean, in four short years, she’s made an impact that most will not make in a lifetime,” said Mandy Price, Rowan’s mother. “One in five children diagnosed with cancer will die, and unfortunately, our Rowan is part of that statistic. If we can save one child and one family from the heartache we’ve experienced, then we’ve made a difference. This is why we have teamed up with St. Baldrick’s to honor our daughter Rowan who has inspired us to ‘RowOn’ and create the RowOn 4 a Cure Hero Fund that will not only honor her vivacious spirit but will help save the lives of those children fighting against acute myeloid leukemia like she so bravely did. We are so honored to have our first grant from the RowOn 4 a Cure Hero Fund go toward Dr. Huang’s promising research for pediatric AML at UCSF. We are so thankful to St. Baldrick’s and to all the Rowan Strong supporters who have helped create this lasting legacy in honor of our amazing daughter and warrior princess, Rowan.”

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