- A 13-year-old Rhinelander boy can't play football right now. He's fighting a disease which ultimately will force him to find a new liver. However, his football team wouldn't let that hold him back from scoring.
Bobby Towne couldn't run down the field Tuesday afternoon at the team's season finale, but his team made sure he could make his way to the endzone.
Towne was diagnosed with Wilson's disease at the end of August. Ultimately, he's going to need a liver transplant, but in the meantime, the team helped him score a touchdown.
Bobby's mother Patches said she couldn't help but notice his smile.
"It was heart breaking," Patches Towne said. "It was the first time I've seen him have a true smile since this all started, where he was truly happy."
The disease prevents his liver from filtering copper out of his blood. The family says they just returned from a hospital in Milwaukee on Thursday. His parents say right now, there's just a lot of waiting.
"He's going to be on medication for ever, after the transplant he's going to be on immunosuppressive drugs forever, so you know, it's always going to be something we're going to have to watch out for and wait for, but with the transplant, he'll be alive to deal with it," Bob Towne said.
Bobby's father says he learned Tuesday that his CT scan turned out well, so doctors might be able to use part of his liver to help Bobby. However, they still need to perform some more tests before that happens.
The team and community also raised more than $1,000 from a 50/50 raffle that will go to the Towne family. Both parents said they were so thankful for the help. They also had a clear message for people in the community.
You know tell your kids you love them every night. Never take them for granted because you never know what tomorrow is going to bring," Bob Towne said."
In addition to Tuesday night's game, fundraisers will be held during Friday night's varsity homecoming game.
On Friday night, October 16, the Rhinelander Cafe and Pub will donate part of its proceeds that night to the Towne family.
The Towne family will also have a fundraiser November 14 at the Woodpecker Bar and Grill on Highway K in Rhinelander. Details for that event have not yet been released.