Community rallies around Roanoke family after child's cancer returns

4-year-old Rowan Price's treatment for rare, aggressive leukemia continues

By Jessica Jewell - Weekend Anchor / Reporter

ROANOKE, Va. - After months of treatment and signs of recovery for a 4-year-old Roanoke girl, doctors found last week that her rare, aggressive form of leukemia has returned.

The news is heartbreaking for Rowan Price’s parents, a special education teacher and a nurse, who uprooted their lives to get their daughter treatment and thought they were seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

The heartbreaking turn has lit a fire in the "Rowan Strong" community that’s now stepping up more than ever to help. Maria Smith is just one of those. She’s sending every single cent made at Miami Ice on Thursday straight to the Price family.

"That’s something we can do. Because there's nothing we can do but pray and send love," Smith said.

Many of those holding fundraisers or donating clothes or money are strangers, but not Smith. She's known Rowan since she was a baby.

“Her aunt emailed us about a month ago and said that Rowan was so excited to get back to Roanoke because she wanted to have a party at Miami Ice, so our idea now is that we're going to have a party tomorrow for Rowan,” Smith said. "I don't know how she does it. She's my hero, so I just love her. It's really hard, though. It's hard to see her going through it, and I don't know how you go through that as a mom, watching your baby go through that, but we're just grateful to be able to help her any way we can right now."

To help, you can head to Miami Ice at 3540 Brambleton Ave. on Thursday from 3-9 p.m.

Mandy Price, Rowan's mother, said they’re in need of gift cards right now so they can get meals while they're spending all their time in the hospital.

Click here to access the Rowan Strong Facebook group and find many more ways to help.

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