Warwick community rallies together to help 2-year-old boy battle cancer

WARWICK, R.I. (WLNE) – One family is Warwick fighting for their child’s life after the 2-year-old was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

One glance at 2-year-old Rowan Shaw is all it takes to know this little boy is a fighter. His parents David and Kendall say it was only a few weeks ago that they learned the news that changed everything.

“The second someone tells you that your baby has cancer, you don’t really know how to react,” Kendall Garton, Rowan’s mom said. “I couldn’t breathe. Poor David was sitting at home and had to hear it over the phone.”

‘They found a tumor’. Those are the words that Kendall struggled to get out through a phone call to her husband. Due to COVID restrictions, David couldn’t be in the hospital with them.

“It’s been a struggle,” David Shaw, Rowan’s dad said. “If there was ever a time two parents need to be together, it would be when you’re finding out that your child has cancer.”

Doctors say 2-year-old Rowan has high-risk neuroblastoma, which is a rare tumor only 700 to 1,000 kids get diagnosed with a year. The tumor sits on his adrenal gland and spread into his bones, causing him to lose his ability to walk.

“It’s very aggressive,” Shaw said. “It’s one of the most aggressive cancer treatments done in children. It’s five consecutive months of chemo.”

Five months of chemo then radiation and therapy. The family faces 15 months of treatment alone. It hit at tough time, too.

“Before any of this started, I was in the hotel industry,” Garton said. “We were hit really hard and I was furloughed.”

It’s a tough fight, but one they don’t have to fight alone. With the support of the community and the help of the doctors at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Rowan remains strong.

“The world doesn’t stop for a bad day and if you focus too much on that bad day, you’ll get stuck in the past,” Shaw said. “We’re getting out of the mindset that we just heard our child has cancer and now we have a plan to move forward with that cancer.”

Rowan is now finishing up his second week of chemo. His dad says he’s doing great and is even walking better after some treatment.

To follow Rowan’s journey, visit: Fight For Rowan | Facebook

If you’d like to visit his Gofundme page, visit: https://gofund.me/bd581987

The family also set up a blood drive for Rowan. It’ll be held on February 26th at 3:00 p.m. at the American Legion William Shields #43 at 662 West Shore Road in Warwick. Donations are accepted with appointment.

Categories: News, Rhode Island, Warwick