An FDNY firefighter and his wife are looking for a bone marrow donor to save their son.
Two-year-old Owen Hogan was diagnosed in April with severe aplastic anemia. The rare disease causes a deficiency in blood cells and can impair the body’s ability to fight infections.
The New Hyde Park toddler, who loves trains and playground swings, needs a bone marrow transplant to live.
“It’s pretty rough, and that’s putting it nicely,” said his father, Tim Hogan. “It’s the most difficult thing we’ve ever dealt with. We had the world at our feet and all of a sudden it came crashing down.”
Tim, who works out of Engine Company 216 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, said he and his wife, Kathleen, noticed bruising on Owen’s body and learned of the tragic diagnosis during a trip to the doctor.
Owen has undergone months of failed immunosuppressive therapy to try to get his body to produce adequate blood cells. He gets platelets transfusions every week, his father said.
“His body is just not cooperating,” Tim said.
If Owen finds a perfectly matched donor, he has a survival chance of up to 90 percent, his family said. An imperfectly matched donor drops Owen’s chances down to 40 percent.
“As of now, we know there is no available match for Owen but we remain hopeful that in spreading the word, the registry will continue to grow and a match for Owen will be found,” Tim said.
According to Delete Blood Cancer, a nonprofit that is part of the world’s largest bone marrow donor center, only four out of 10 patients looking for a donor get a transplant.
The family has held a handful of donor drives throughout Queens and Long Island in search of Owen’s potential hero.
An upcoming drive will take place Saturday, November 9 at the Floral Park Village Hall from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Floral Park Village Hall is located at 1 Floral Boulevard.
Donors between the ages of 18 and 55 will have to register and have their DNA tested with a simple cheek swab.
To join the blood marrow registry or sign up for a free at-home swab kit, visit deletebloodcancer.org.
“I’m hopeful,” Tim said. “I’m optimistic that we’re going to find the best possible match. It’s a race against time.”