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Neighbors Helping Neighbors As Toddler Battles Rare Disorder

May 16, 2016 01:11AM ● Published by Shannon Antinori

At just 7 months old, Bowden Simmons is fighting a rare inflammatory immune disorder. (Photo from the Bowden the Brave Facebook page)

An Oswego subdivision is taking action after one of its youngest neighbors was diagnosed with a rare immune disorder.

Residents of the Prescott Mill community, located off Wolf's Crossing Road, will use this week's community garage sale to benefit the family of an infant they've dubbed "Bowden the Brave."

At just 7 months old, little Bowden Simmons has spent a quarter of his life in the hospital, visiting doctors or undergoing treatments, according to a YouCaring page set up by his parents, Adam and Christine Simmons.

The infant was diagnosed with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, known as HLH, a disorder that causes overstimulated immune cells to damage the patient’s own tissues and organs.

Bowden is undergoing chemotherapy and will eventually need a bone marrow transplant.

“He’s had a tough start in life,” said neighbor Maria Trujillo. “Even with the best insurance … the bills are piling and piling,” she said. “They shouldn’t have to worry about that.”

Since Bowden’s diagnosis, neighbors have been lending a hand any way they can, from helping the family around the house to raising money by selling bracelets and decals, and hosting fundraisers.

“It’s been really tough on them, so the neighborhood has pitched in,” said resident Pattie Mathison. “We had been trying to find all kinds of ways to help.”

Neighbors will take advantage of Prescott Mill’s upcoming community garage sale to raise additional funds to help the family.

Trujillo says she plans to host a preview night and bake sale from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 19, at her home at 283 Foster Drive.

All sales at Trujillo’s home during the garage sale will also benefit the Simmons family. The sale is scheduled for 8 to 4 p.m. Friday, May 20 and 8 to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 21.

Mathison said neighbors have been pitching in, providing donations for both the garage sale and bake sale.

Trujillo said she is still accepting donations, including books, toys, games, household items, baby items, Halloween costumes, furniture and jewelry. Baked goods and beverages for the bake sale are also appreciated. To donate, email maria.v.trujillo@gmail.com. Items can also be dropped off on the porch at Trujillo’s home, 283 Foster Drive.

Bowden’s parents posted a message on the site expressing their gratitude for the outpouring of support for the neighborhood.

“When we moved into this beautiful neighborhood 2 years ago, we never would have guessed we would have neighbors that have become our great friends, even like family,” Adam and Christine Simmons wrote. “Since the very first day we took Bowden to the ER, they have gone above and beyond to help in any way … There are so many things we don't even know about, they just do them. You all are true warriors fighting this with us. We can NEVER begin to thank you enough.”

If you can't make it to the Foster Drive garage sale, you can still help by donating via the Bowden the Brave YouCaring page

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