Utah family hit by tragedy, as father and granddaughter BOTH fight cancer at the same time

A Utah family is confronted with the unimaginable but a few years after they lost their three-year-old son to cancer: Now both father and their two-year-old daughter are also fighting cancer.

Nate Bowen, 41, and his wife Allison had already gone through hell when their son Crosby died suddenly in 2018, but a month short of his third birthday, because of what they later learned was a brain tumor.

But when her two-year-old daughter Annabelle was diagnosed with cancer last year, doctors began testing to find out why this had happened to two toddlers in the same family, according to Today.

They soon discovered that Annabelle had a rare genetic condition called Li-Fraumeni syndrome, which may increase her risk of cancer.

When genetic tests revealed that Nate also had the condition, he began undergoing regular cancer screenings – and in September, doctors told him they had found a tumor in his brain.

Nate Bowen, 41, and his two-year-old daughter Annabelle are both battling cancer at the same time

Nate Bowen, 41, and his two-year-old daughter Annabelle are both battling cancer at the same time

Nate and Allison Bowen also have an eight-year-old son named Dalton and a four-year-old daughter named Tessa

Nate and Allison Bowen also have an eight-year-old son named Dalton and a four-year-old daughter named Tessa

In 2018, they tragically lost their son Crosby just a month before his third birthday

In 2018, they tragically lost their son Crosby just a month before his third birthday

The one-in-a-million story of The Bownes began in 2018, when her son Crosby – who she described as a ‘stupid kid’ with a ‘great laugh’ – suddenly became ill from fatigue and vomiting.

Her family doctor thought it was just a virus, but Crosby gradually got worse over the course of a week.

Although they said none of his symptoms indicated to him that he had a brain tumor, his condition worsened enough that they took him to the hospital.

‘On the way to the hospital is likely when he had a massive heart attack or stroke or something like that and stopped breathing. We did not know, ‘said Bowen. “But we could tell he was declining really fast.”

Doctors told the family that Crosby was brain dead, and they soon took him off life support.

“It was just very traumatic because it was so sudden,” Bowen said. “We received fantastic care and they brought in a pediatrician to get the children to say goodbye to him.”

Crosby became ill with fatigue and vomiting and died only a week after his symptoms began

Crosby became ill with fatigue and vomiting and died only a week after his symptoms began

The Bowens later learned that being killed their son was a brain tumor

The Bowens later learned that being killed their son was a brain tumor

Last year, Annabelle had a bump on her leg and the Bowens learned that she also had cancer.  She underwent surgery and began chemotherapy

Last year, Annabelle had a bump on her leg and the Bowens learned that she also had cancer. She underwent surgery and began chemotherapy

Doctors performed genetic tests and found that Annabelle had a genetic condition that increased her chances of getting cancer

Doctors performed genetic tests and found that Annabelle had a genetic condition that increased her chances of getting cancer

They later learned through a CT scan that Crosby had a grade 4 glioblastoma, a ‘very aggressive brain tumor’.

After a period of grief, Nate, Allison, and their other children – Dalton, No. 8, and Tessa, No. 4 – welcome a new addition to their family: Annabelle.

Annabelle started having health problems in late 2020 when her parents noticed a bump on her leg.

In February of 2021, she was also diagnosed with cancer after and MRI found rhabdomyosarcoma, a soft tissue cancer of the muscles.

She soon underwent surgery and chemotherapy, which she will undergo this month.

But doctors were curious as to why two of the Bowen children developed cancer and what genetic tests were done.

The whole family was tested, and Nate discovered that he also had the condition, so he began regular screenings for different types of cancer.

The whole family was tested, and Nate discovered that he also had the condition, so he began regular screenings for different types of cancer.

Last fall, doctors found a brain tumor and operated on it to remove most of it.  However, due to increased risk of more cancer, he does not receive chemo

Last fall, doctors found a brain tumor and operated on it to remove most of it. However, due to increased risk of more cancer, he does not receive chemo

“My daughter got cancer late to my genetic testing, which led to cancer screenings, and let’s hopefully catch it early enough,” he said.

“If you have multiple young children who have cancer, there is typically this genetic mutation often linked,” Nate said.

They discovered that Annabelle did Li-Fraumeni syndrome, a mutation in the TP53 gene. The TP53 typically prevents tumor growth, but the mutation does not.

Although the mutation can happen spontaneously, it can also be genetic – so the rest of the family was tested.

Only Nate also had the condition, so he started getting regular cancer screenings. Thus, in September, doctors found a large brain tumor, grade 2 astrocytoma, at an MRI.

He has since removed about 90 percent of the tumor, but while his daughter is undergoing gemo, he is not, as it may cause him to develop even more cancer.

'We had to really limit our focus and be like, "OK, I can go through today," of "I can through this week,"'said Nate

“We had to really narrow our focus and be like, ‘OK, I can get through today,’ or ‘I can get through this week,'” Nate said.

“I really grew to see my wife in a different light and respect the woman she is and how strong she is,” Nate added.

Although Nate and Annabelle will probably always deal with the threat of cancer – and regular tests and screening – the family does their best to stay positive, in part by switching to their beliefs.

“We had to really narrow our focus and be like, ‘OK, I can get through today,’ or ‘I can get through this week,'” Nate said.

Plus, he added: ‘My daughter got cancer late to my genetic testing, which led to cancer screenings, and leaves us hopeful of catching it early enough. It’s one of those bittersweet times where it’s bad. But there is a good part. ‘

He said his relationship with his wife has also grown stronger.

‘I really grew to see my wife in a different light and respect the woman she is and how strong she is. Our love for each other has grown through the trials and we try to be as positive as possible. ‘

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