Vietnam Veteran Gives 2-Year-Old Boy Fighting Metastatic Neuroblastoma His Bronze Star

Published Mar 19, 2021

Anne McCarthy

Boy Fighting Cancer Gets Medal from Vet

  • A two-year-old boy in Warwick battling neuroblastoma is getting love and support from his community.
  • This type of cancer typically affects children aged five and younger.
  • Finding small moments of joy through cancer has proven to be beneficial, our experts say.

Even amid hardships like battling cancer during a pandemic, there are sources of joy and happiness to be found.

Two-year-old Rowan Shaw from Warwick, Rhode Island is fighting metastatic neuroblastoma, and his community is rallying around him to bring happiness.

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Local police have collected police and fire patches for him amid his cancer battle. And retired U.S. Army Sgt. Charlie Trent, a Vietnam vet, delivered a Bronze Star for the young boy, reports The Providence Journal. “This is the most heartfelt, humbling gift we’ve received for Rowan,” the local police wrote in a Facebook post about the medal.

The Bronze Star is awarded to service members who show heroism in the field or are meritorious in their work, according to the Medals of America military blog.

Neuroblastoma Treatment Options

Neuroblastoma is a cancer typically found in the adrenal glands. This cancer most commonly affects children aged five or younger. Symptoms for this disease can include a loss of appetite, fatigue and fever.

Related: Boy’s ‘Tummy Ache’ Brought Diagnosis of Neuroblastoma: Oncologists Remind Us To Check Symptoms, Even Amid COVID-19 Fears

Treatment can include surgery and chemotherapy. Neuroblastoma develops from nerve cells in the fetus. It often affects the small glands above the kidneys, called adrenal glands. Tumors appear most often in the abdomen but can be found in the chest, neck or spine. Some forms of this cancer will spontaneously disappear on their own, but for most children, surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation is required.

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Finding Joy Through Cancer

Seeking out small moments of joy through the cancer journey can be beneficial. In an earlier interview, colorectal surgeon Dr. Zuri Murrell says, “My patients who thrive, even with stage 4 cancer, from the time that they, about a month after they’re diagnosed, I kind of am pretty good at seeing who is going to be OK. Now doesn’t that mean I’m good at saying that the cancer won’t grow.”

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“But I’m pretty good at telling what kind of patient are going to still have this attitude and probably going to live the longest, even with bad, bad disease. And those are patients who, they have gratitude in life.”

Stay Positive, It Matters

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