He’s running around, smiling! He paints. He plays with trucks!
For little Owen Hogan, playtime means normal childhood fun. But for his parents, Tim and Kathleen, the joyful moments they spend watching their healthy, active son play mean so much more. Because not long ago, Owen’s life was in jeopardy.
Back in 2013, things seemed perfect: Tim and Kathleen were preparing to move to a new home, their second child was on the way, and Owen was an energetic, happy two-year-old. When Owen first began developing bruises, his parents were not too concerned. Then, their doctor delivered a diagnosis that turned the family’s life upside down: Owen suffered from severe aplastic anemia, a debilitating blood disorder.
After months of intense treatment, when his health was not improving, Owen's doctors delivered more devastating news: Owen needed a bone marrow transplant to survive. With their son’s life on the line and no matching donor on the registry, the family hosted a series of donor registration drives in their community. Soon, Owen’s moving story inspired drives across the country – even receiving support from actor Steve Buscemi. Within three months, Owen had a matching donor!
Owen received his transplant in 2014 and has shown steady gains in health and activity – much to the immense delight of his parents.
While Owen grows and gets stronger, Tim and Kathleen continue to share their son’s story, with amazing results. As of November 2015, the family’s efforts have motivated more than 2,000 people to join the registry, leading to nearly 20 matches for patients in need of a transplant.
We hope to continue to inspire more people to swab their cheeks and join the registry that saved Owen’s life.