Fundraisers to help with local boy’s medical costs

Shayne Mazur

Two-year-old Owen Kinane gets to come home on Sunday after a month-long stay at the Children’s Hospital Colorado following a leukemia diagnosis in late September.
“He’s tired, but on the whole, he’s doing as well as he can for the diagnosis he has and for the stage of the treatment he’s in,” said Rebecca Kinane, Owen’s mother.
Owen had a reoccurring fever for three to four weeks prior to his diagnosis, but his parents initially thought it was due to kids being back in school and sickness going around their church. It was at a church activity Rebecca noticed the high energy levels and healthy color of the other children compared to her son.
Owen visited the hospital in Powell on Sept. 27 to get his blood drawn. “Before we even left the parking lot, she called and told me he needed to go to the ER because of how anemic he was and how elevated his white blood cell count was,” Rebecca said.
Due to Owen’s numbers and severe anemia, he was recommended to the children’s hospital in Denver. His father, Roman, took the life flight down to Colorado with him where Owen was diagnosed with B-cell leukemia. The following day he had a port placed, a spinal tap to determine his risk level and a bone biopsy. His first chemo occurred on Oct. 1.
“The induction period, which is the first four to six weeks after a diagnosis, is the hardest,” Rebecca said.
The chemo that treats leukemia includes “a cocktail of drugs” and a steroid that causes muscle pain. Rebecca said Owen will have to undergo physical therapy when he gets home to regain the muscle mass he’s lost during treatment.
With no family history of leukemia, she and Roman have undergone a massive education over the past month. “It’s definitely a learning experience. Leukemia is different from a tumor-type cancer. Your bone marrow starts producing mutated white blood cells that crowd out bone marrow…it makes it hard for the bone marrow to produce platelets and red blood cells.”
Rebecca returned to Greybull to take care of their younger son, Griffin, while Roman remained in Denver with Owen. Roman has been “taking care of the drug side of things” through an app that helps parents track their child’s drugs, dosages and numbers.
Owen is risk level 1, the lowest risk level, which is good news. But he still faces a long journey ahead.
“They tell you to plan for two-and-a-half to three years of treatment. It depends on how he does,” Rebecca said. “His numbers have improved a lot. As far as the cancer itself goes, he’s had a dramatic improvement and the doctors are pleased with where he’s at so far.”
If Owen’s last chemo infusion on Friday goes well, he and Roman will be home Sunday in time for Rebecca and Griffin’s birthdays, which are both in November. Griffin will be turning one.
Several fundraising options are available for those who would like to support the Kinane family.
Breanne Roberts, Rebecca’s sister, created a GiveSendGo campaign with a goal of $10,000 at
In addition, an AngeLink campaign named “Owen’s Battle” has been organized by Tera Sanchez to help cover Owen’s medical costs and travel expenses. The goal is set at $25,000.
“Roman, Rebecca, Owen and Griffin are always supporting local businesses and helping others in any way they can. I am asking our village(s) to donate in any way possible with the holiday season approaching quickly,” Sanchez wrote.
Local artist Linda Jolley has also donated a fine-art print to be raffled in support of Owen. “It’s a beautiful print. She got it professionally framed,” Rebecca said.
The print is on display at Big Horn Federal, where the drawing will take place at noon on Nov. 17. It’s $5 for one ticket, $20 for five. Tickets are available at Big Horn Federal, Bank of Greybull, Bob’s Diner, Greybull Building Center, Big Horn Co-Op and Wyoming Modern Tech.
If people prefer to donate locally rather than online, a bank account for Owen’s medical fund has been set up at Security State Bank. Anonymous donations can be made to the account in Owen’s name at the Basin and Greybull locations.
Further fundraiser information can be found on Rebecca Kinane or Tera Sanchez’s Facebook pages.