St Baldrick’s was a great event. Thank you all for helping make it a success. Our team, the Green Drakkoman’s Team, raised over $12,000 in Albany and other folks across the country added another $3,000 by participating in their locations. Over $15,000 was raised in honor of Ben. I heard some really great stories about Ben and the impact he has had and continues to have on the world. I shared some great memories of Ben and James with people I see often and some I have not seen in a long time.
If you weren’t able to participate don’t worry we will be giving you all other opportunites to help make a difference; to help ease the burden of a family whose child is in danger of losing their life, to help researchers find a new treatment, to train the healer of tomorrow. Our goal is to find ways to do it that put a smile on your face and bring more laughter than tears. We will be looking at events that Ben would enjoy and be proud of. If you have any ideas please share them with us.
On March 27th, this Saturday, before the water polo game that starts at 1 pm the Siena Athletic Department and the Women’s Water Polo Team will be honoring Ben as a member of the team. There will be a ceremony before the game. We are going to try and arrive around Noon to get the good seats. After the game there will be a reception in a nearby building. The ceremony, game and reception are open to the public. The game is an important one against a really good team so they will need our support more than ever. We are hoping to fill the stands with Siena fans as they play Hartwick. You don’t need tickets or to preregister. The game will be at the pool in the Athletic Center.
The Latham Fire Department recently held a blood drive in honor of Ben. They did the same last year and Ben was able to astop by and thank people. One of the Girl Scout Troops has held several blood drives at Calvary United Methodist Church in honor of Ben. I was asked to write something for the folks to read while they were having juice and cookies after donating. It is so important to us that people know the importance of the simple acts of kindness that they do. The following message is what I created.
We would like to thank you for donating blood today in honor of Benjamin Stowell. The young man this collection is being held in honor of was very special. He was my son. He was diagnosed in September of 2006 with osteosarcoma at the age of 6. Throughout his treatments the chemotherapy would cause his blood counts to drop precipitously and he received a great deal of blood products. He also endured multiple surgeries on his arm and lungs during which he also received blood. As a lifetime blood and bone marrow donor I took my donations for granted. The first time I saw the life giving fluid dripping into my son I realized the hope and love that was contained in each drop. I prayed through my tears that whoever had donated the blood would be blessed with the understanding of the immense importance of their gift. You truly are giving not just the gift of life when you donate blood. You are giving the gift of hope and without hope life cannot exist.
On October 12th 2009 at 6:20 PM Ben arrived at the end his journey along an arduous path at the age of 9 years old. In 2006 Ben was diagnosed with a rare cancer called osteosarcoma in his right humerus. Ben was assisted in his journey by a super hero of his creation – The Green Drakkoman. Ben was an inspiration to anyone who met him. When things looked darkest he would often say,”Remember, Focus on the Positive.” He was able to inspire adults in ways that we never anticipated. Ben never let the osteosarcoma limit him. He chose to live life full on and had many accomplishments to be proud of. He attained the blue belt in karate, learned how to snowboard, took guitar lessons and most recently started to learn how to play the cello. He attended Blue Creek Elementary School in the North Colonie School District and was beloved and celebrated by not only his school, but, the entire school district. Ben’s goal in life was to become a “fire-fighter doctor” and was inducted into the Latham Fire Department as an honorary member and responded to his first call after the induction ceremony. Ben was also a member of the Siena College Women’s Water Polo team and was an honorary Bat Boy for the Red Sox. In 2009 he became the first player/owner in North Colonie Youth Baseball league when he sponsored The Green Drakkoman team. He attended church at Calvary United Methodist church and maintained a simple yet very strong faith. The community at large wrapped his entire family in their loving arms. In the last moments of Ben’s time here on earth he was held in his parents’ arms as they lovingly caressed his head and told him they were proud of him. His last moments were very peaceful. He had a well lived life. In addition to many loving relatives Ben is survived by his twin brother James Stowell, his mother Stacey Gerard, his father Tim Stowell and his dog Mocha. The story of Ben’s journey with osteosarcoma is on our website http://www.greendrakkoman.com. It is currently being transitioned and new content will be showing up soon.
Thank you for being a blood donor.