Roanoke family turns loss into advocacy by bringing awareness to childhood cancer

September is recognized as National Childhood Cancer Awareness month

ROANOKE, Va. – Local advocates are speaking up to spread awareness about childhood cancer during the month of September, including Roanoke resident, Mandy Price, whose world was flipped upside down when her daughter Rowan was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia in 2018.

“She brought a light that not many people brought to the world. And so we are trying to continue to share that light by advocating and bringing awareness to childhood cancer,” she said.

Rowan passed away from the disease in 2019, after an 11-month-long fight. Now, her family continues to spread awareness about childhood cancer.

[‘Making each day more meaningful’: Rowan Price’s legacy lives on, powering family advocacy efforts]

“For us as Rowan’s parents, childhood cancer awareness month is all year long, every year for the rest of our lives,” said Price. “Because until we were thrusted into that world, we didn’t know much about it and we didn’t know how underfunded it truly was,” she said.

Even local organizations like Roanoke Fire and EMS are raising awareness by selling t-shirts.

“Basically we are just spreading awareness. Gold represents not just one cancer but every cancer for a child, any adolescent,” said firefighter and EMT, Thomas Schacter.

The department is using the sales from the shirts to donate to a local family affected by cancer. According to the American Childhood Cancer Organization, cancer is the number one cause of death by disease for children in America. But the Price family is working to change that statistic.

“We would like to see social media going gold, our community going gold, you wearing gold, just anything to show that you support children with cancer, those that will be diagnosed with cancer, and those who have passed on with childhood cancer,” said Price.

To learn more about childhood cancer, visit GoGoldVa.


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