It is a very aggressive form of bone cancer. After limb salvage surgery that replaced 80% of his right upper arm with a donor bone he lived every moment of his life with an inspiring determination to survive and conquer the cancer attacking his body.
Ben’s Green Drakkoman Fund is named after the super hero that Ben created and shared with the world since he was able to pick up a crayon and draw. He would tell us tales of the adventures of this hero and how he vanquished his foes. The Green Drakkoman’s archenemy is the Evil Alien. When Ben was diagnosed the doctor explained how all of the doctors, nurses and his family would come together to help him fight the cancer. He replied, “You mean the way the Green Drakkoman assembles a team and goes into battle to defeat the Evil Alien.” The doctor looked into this little 6 year old boy’s eyes and said, “Yes, exactly like that.” Ben then understood what was going on inside his little body. He was also comforted because he knew that no matter what the Green Drakkoman always prevails.
Osteosarcoma is a cancer the normally is diagnosed in children between the ages of 12 and 18. It is usually found in the large bones of the body and most often in the legs. There has been very little research done to find treatments for osteosarcoma for the last 30 years. Ben’s initial treatments were the exact same protocols that he would have received if he had been diagnosed in 1980. It was not until after those treatments failed that we were able to attempt 2 clinical trials. In October of 2009 at the age of 9, Ben Stowell defeated the cancer that had invaded his body. He left this earthly existence having never allowed the disease to stop him from living the best life he could live facing the challenges in front of him with grace and humor.
Ben loved the St Baldrick’s Foundation. His twin brother James and I participated for the 1st time in early 2007. While were getting our heads shave Ben was less than a mile away in a hospital room with chemotherapy drugs dripping into his veins. As soon as we were done we headed back to the hospital. When we walked into the room his eyes lit up. We told him all about the event. The following year he looked on in loving awe as his pediatric oncologist shaved her head for the first time in honor of Ben and all of her other patients.
We have formalized our relationship with St Baldrick’s by creating Ben’s Green Drakkoman Fund. The money we raise is not just in honor of Ben, but, all of the children and young adults who have faced osteosarcoma since 1980 when the last treatment was developed. In partnership with St Baldrick’s the money will be used to fund research into osteosarcoma related issues. We want to make sure that one day no other family will go through the experiences that we did. In the words of one of Ben’s friends we work for the day when the next thing the parents and children hear after a doctor diagnoses a child with osteosarcoma is ”Don’t worry. Here eat this ice cream and the cancer will be gone.”
Thank you for becoming a part of the Green Drakkoman’s Team. Together we will defeat the Evil Alien.
Donations made to the Ben's Green Drakkoman Fund have funded a Research Grant focused on osteosarcoma for Dr. Heather Wilson-Robles D.V.M. at Texas A&M AgriLife and a St. Baldrick’s Fellow grant for Gina Ney, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Ney is researching leukemia at the Regents of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI.
The St. Baldrick's Foundation is guided by a Scientific Advisory Committee, comprised of leading experts in the childhood cancer community, to ensure that every dollar makes the greatest impact for kids battling cancer.
These people make us smile — they’re the doers and money-raisers on behalf of Ben's Green Drakkoman Fund. They’re shaving their heads, hosting events, starting fundraisers and more to make childhood cancer research possible.
Start your own St. Baldrick’s head-shaving event to raise money on behalf of our Hero Fund! You’ll be paired with a staff member who will walk you through every step of the process, and you’ll have fun knowing you’re doing a great thing for kids with cancer.
Register to shave your head and raise money for our Hero Fund at any St. Baldrick’s event happening around the world! Not finding an event near you? Register as a virtual shavee and shave your head anytime, anywhere.