Wearing face masks is nothing new for young leukemia patient

Published: Aug. 18, 2020 at 7:24 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - Wearing masks for hours a day has become the new normal for people.

For students, this is going to be their reality for hours while in the classroom beginning this fall. For Rowan Neuman, wearing a mask has been his reality most of his life and it feels normal for him.

Rowan says he can’t even remember when he started wearing a mask after he was diagnosed with leukemia at a young age. Now, he’s giving other kids advice for how they can get through it too.

“I don’t really remember the first time I had to wear a mask, so it was just natural for me,” he said.

But he understands that it’s not natural for others, so he says kids just have to make it fun in any way you can.

“I have two different masks. One is my dog mask and it’s the same breed as my dog at home,” Rowan said. “But if you can’t find a special one, you could just get fabric markers and a bag of plain masks and draw on them to make your own.”

He said kids may even make a new friend along the way because of the mask they choose.

“You could say, I like your mask and I like dogs too. Let’s be friends,” Rowan said.

He also said that remembering why the mask is there is important, because it means you can stay healthy and keep those around you safe too.

“It might be uncomfortable or hard to breathe. You could get really sick, you might have to wear it so you don’t give it anyone else,” Rowan said.

His mom, Emily, said gentle reminders about why it’s important to wear a mask and how they’re being good by helping others can make children feel better about keeping it on if it seems difficult.

Copyright 2020 WJRT. All rights reserved.

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