7-year-old in need of a bone marrow donor

Published: Sep. 1, 2017 at 6:40 PM EDT
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(09/01/2017) - It's all smiles from Rowan as he spends his afternoon doing one of his favorite things with grandma.

"Baking and getting to know what new things taste like when I bake them," he said.

But as he takes on new challenges, one from Rowan's past came back for a fight.

"We started to see the tell-tale bruises again," his mom, Emily Neumann, said. "At that point, we did more diagnostic testing and it was confirmed that he had relapsed."

Leukemia was not only found in Rowan's spinal column again, but also his bone marrow. It's his second relapse, since the 7-year-old was diagnosed six years ago.

"You know, he's had his share, he's done his time. We know what treatment is for him coming up and we know that he will not go through anything this difficult in his life and preparing him for that is heartbreaking," Emily said.

"I went through it once. I know I can get through it again," Rowan said.

But this time, Rowan needs some help. He needs to find a match for a bone marrow transplant.

"Conventional therapies have failed and this is his chance at a second life," Emily said.

Rowan and his family are asking you to add your name to the national bone marrow registry. They're holding a drive Sept. 9. You just need to provide your contact information and a quick swab of your cheek for DNA.

"Not just Rowan can see if we can find the match, but anyone else who is currently looking for a match could find through this drive," Emily said.

The Neumanns have faith that things will turn around for Rowan, just as they have for his 10-month-old sister Winnie, who's winning her fight against neuroblastoma.

"She's becoming a big part of the family, her big brothers are wrapped around her finger. She's delightful," Emily said.

"She's something good in my life that I like," Rowan added.

The drive will be held Sept. 9 in Tuscola County at the Vassar Victory Center. Click on the 'related links' section for more information.

If you can't make the bone marrow drive in Vassar, Hurley Medical Center will be holding its own drive on Sept. 5 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. in the West Lobby.