ROANOKE, Va. – A Roanoke family continues their journey of advocacy after their 4-year-old daughter died from a rare, aggressive form of cancer in 2019.
“You can’t wait for life to stop being hard to be happy,” said Scott Price, Rowan’s dad.
Life certainly has been hard for Scott, Mandy and Emory Price.
“There are still days when it is just tough to get out of bed,” said Mandy Price, Rowan’s mom.
Since Rowan’s passing, they’ve channeled their grief into giving back.
“The next step is helping out as many people as possible,” Scott said.
Their commitment to doing just that has taken many different forms: organizing Lego drives for kids in the hospital, raising enough money to fund potentially groundbreaking childhood cancer research and helping other families like them as national ambassadors for St. Baldrick’s.
That work is now reaching new heights as Mandy takes her advocacy to the legislative level, fighting for changes to improve funding; however, perhaps the most powerful difference they’re making is in perspective.
“I never in a million years thought that we would go through what we went through and I would ever be able to smile,” said Scott.
“It’s just time for us to give back and to remember Rowan and to live like she would want us to and that’s by being kind and being generous and smiling and finding our own joy,” said Mandy.
“Making each day more meaningful because none of us know when it’s going to be our last breath,” said Scott.
They’re looking for the good, like Rowan did, and continuing to share her light.
“Our lives are forever changed but we just hope that we are taking that tragedy and turning it into something great and something meaningful and powerful,” Mandy said.
A non-profit inspired by Rowan is holding its second HeRow Expo Benefit Car Truck & Bike Show to raise money for another family who lost a child to cancer. That’s happening July 10 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Vinton War Memorial.
In the fall, they’re planning a kickball tournament to raise money for St. Baldrick’s.