Tucker Gowen, an 18-year-old Southbury teen, died on Tuesday after a seven-month battle with a rare form of leukemia.
“I am so saddened to share the news that our beautiful Tucker with the heart of gold passed away early this morning. He passed away peacefully with his love ones by his side. We are so incredibly grateful for the wonderful compassion of the staff at the hospital and all of the loving support and prayers from all of you,” the Luck2Tuck Facebook page that the family has been updating frequently, stated yesterday.
In March, Tucker went to the doctor for what the family assumed was a routine check-up for swimmer’s ear and instead learned that Tucker had a rare form of leukemia.
Tucker’s mother, Jeni Gowen, has shared the family’s story on Facebook and more than 5,000 people have been getting updates on the moments of hope, as well as the struggles, the family has experienced.
Over nine months, Tucker’s story has captured hearts of people who never had the chance to know him. Some are from as far away as New Zealand or England. Others happened to be right near Boston Children’s Hospital, where Tucker was treated.
“Just came over from Diary of a Mom. We're sending thoughts and prayers your way. I read a couple of your recent posts and saw that you're in Boston. I work at Children's, so I'll drop by the blood donor center in the next couple days too,” one person posted.
Tucker loved music. In July, he had the chance to perform in the hospital with Gavin DeGraw and also received a call from Ozzy Osbourne.
On Tuesday night, a walk of light in remembrance of Tucker will be held at the Pomperaug High School track and field.
The walk will begin at 6:30 p.m. All who participate are urged to bring a flashlight or cell phone, but not candles or lighters.
Jeni Gowen, is the boys' swim team dive coach, and Tucker was a member of the team.
All swimmers and divers are asked to arrive for 6 p.m. and gather outside at the swim locker room doors so they can walk down together.
Next week, The Phoenix Magazine, an independent magazine run by Pomperaug High School students, plans to release an issue week dedicated to Tucker Gowen.
If you would like to pay your respects, funeral arrangements have been made.
Calling hours will be Friday, Oct. 12, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the chapel in Sacred Heart Church in Southbury.
A funeral mass will be at Sacred Heart on Saturday, Oct. 13 at 1 p.m.
Refreshments will be served after Mass in the church hall and a private burial will be held after.