LANGHORNE, Pennsylvania (CBS) — The Philadelphia Phillies Thursday gave a young fan and cancer survivor a bedroom makeover as part of the team’s support for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September.
“Sorry,” Kristin Linder’s voice sounded during their interview with CBS News Philadelphia.
She and her husband Gary began to cry as they remembered the fear and frustration of January 2022. Then their 3-year-old son Rowan fell ill and began a series of trips to St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. The couple recalled taking Rowan to the hospital one day and tests showed no answers.
“And we were back in 24 hours. And you couldn’t touch him. He was in so much pain,” Kristin said.
“Yeah, it was a rough night,” Gary recalled.
On February 1 of that year, the family finally got an answer.
“Acute myeloid leukemia,” Kristin said.
“Yes, AML,” Gary said.
Gary recalled how the family spent many nights in the hospital while Rowan healed and played.
“Running and playing in the hospital, with a poke in medicine, like, ‘Can you relax for a second?'” Gary said.
Rowan’s parents said he started watching Phillies games with them in his hospital room. On Thursday, team front office volunteers gave the nursery a complete Phillies-themed makeover. They did it while his big sister Aubrey was in school. The kids had no idea what was coming. The Phillie Phanatic and the Phillies Ballgirls were waiting when the kids arrived at the bus stop. After meeting Phillies legends Mickey Morandini and Milt Thompson, it was time for the big reveal.
Rowan’s parents said this all happened just after the boy celebrated his first year of remission.
“I think it’s perfect,” Kristin said, looking around the transformed room. “This is a perfect day. It’s a perfect year for Rowan and Aubrey, and we’re just excited to see all the happiness coming for both kids.”
The Phillies will hold childhood cancer awareness night at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday. The first pitch is at 6:07 PM EDT. Rowan and his family will be present at the game.
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