Justin Strong

Ronee and Tom Cowen live in Ridgefield, CT and have two boys Brandon age 17 and Justin age 12. They are facing a potentially life threatening crisis, and this plea is for assistance to help alleviate their current financial burden.

On April 20, 2015 their life changed with the discovery of a lesion/tumor on the MRI taken of Justin’s neck after months of neck pain. Their fear that it was Cancer was soon alleviated when all tests including a biopsy confirmed it was benign. As such a C3 laminectomy and C2-C4 fusion surgery occurred removing the tumor. Unfortunately, soon after the surgery unbearable pain persisted for months and they went back for more imaging and ultimately second and third opinions.

On July 23rd 2015, their then 11 year old son Justin was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer. The pathology had been wrong. He is facing a long, difficult road to recovery. His treatment plan included ten weeks of chemotherapy, surgery to remove the tumor from the back of the neck and then another surgery from the front of the neck cutting nerve roots and an artery followed by another surgery due to a spinal fluid leak and now a physical therapy program, pain management, psychotherapy, chemotherapy and radiation.

Justin’s full-time care has an impact on the number of hours his dad can work. His dad switched jobs a week before his diagnosis where they had to begin a new medical plan after maximizing out on their out of pocket max on their previous plan. Now after maximizing out on this plan the new year plan will begin starting over.  Along with the unexpected medical expenses, the family is facing the added expense of traveling to and from Boston, cost of all meals /day while there and lodging for family accompanying him to the hospital for his normally 5-day inpatient chemotherapy treatments. In addition, they moved into a new home a week before his diagnosis and need to hire help to get household repairs, chores, etc done.

Justin began 6th grade in Ridgefield,CT in November 2015. He quickly made friends and his easy going attitude, smile and never ending thank you’s were welcomed by all. He couldn’t wait until soccer and baseball began. Unfortunately after a practice or two the surgery took place and he has been fighting this battle ever since. As such he has been unable to attend a single day of 7th grade.

The fear of the unknown is quite real and all they can do is be prepared and accept help from those who offer.  I am a close friend, and I am putting together this request to raise money on the family’s behalf and answer the question friends and family continue to ask, How can I help?  Please consider donating whatever you can to their cause.

Thank you so much !

 Family friend Sheila Silberglied


Donations ()

  • Jeremy Cottton 
    • $150 
    • 35 mos
  • Virginie Kharouby 
    • $30 
    • 39 mos
  • Jennifer Ripa-Edson 
    • $100 
    • 41 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 42 mos
  • Caren & Doug Kern 
    • $50 
    • 42 mos
See all


Thomas Cowen 
Ridgefield, CT
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