New license plates raise awareness for childhood cancer


You can now get a license plate in New York that raises awareness for childhood cancer.

New York is now one of about 20 states that have childhood cancer license plates. A local man who lost his son to osteosarcoma was behind the initiative.

“I had this amazing young man who made an incredible difference in so many lives,” Tim Stowell said.

A day doesn’t go by that Stowell doesn’t remember his son, Ben. A song, an image, a thought brings back memories of his 9-year old who died in 2009.

“Any tear I shed, at the core, is joy,” he said.

These days, a certain story comes to mind. When Ben saw a license plate for a cause and asked his dad why there wasn’t one for childhood cancer.

“I said, ‘I don’t know. You know, somebody should do something. Maybe we should look into it,’” Stowell recalled.

Nothing came of it but the idea would pop up again years later when he and Ben’s twin brother, James, met a boy in Virginia named Mathias Giordano who also had osteosarcoma.

“Mathias had this wonderful idea that every state should have a childhood cancer awareness license plate,” Stowells aid.

This time, Stowell took it to heart.

“Me, in my infinite wisdom, promised Mathias that I would make it happen in New York,” he said.

He kept his promise. Earlier in 2017, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that would allow drivers to buy “Cure Childhood Cancer” license plates. A portion of the proceeds goes towards research.

This week, Stowell put the very first one on his car with Ben and Mathias in mind.

“I just kind of said a little prayer that these plates would bring hope to families and people who are fighting for their children’s lives,” he said.

New York State Department of Motor Vehicles said they’ve sold almost 100 plates in a couple of weeks, which has raised $2,500 for childhood cancer research.

Fee InformationStandardPersonalized
Registration/ Windshield Sticker, Plate & Annual Fees:$60.00$60.00
Cure Childhood Cancer Research Fund Annual Fee:$25.00$25.00
Personalization Fee:N/A$31.25
Total Initial Fee:$85.00$116.25

$25 from each license plate will go to the Cure Childhood Cancer Research Fund.

The plates are available for both passenger and commercial vehicles.

The Cure Childhood Cancer plate is available at any DMV office, on the web, by mail or through the DMV Custom Plates Unit. You can call the unit at (518) 402-4838, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., or visit online at:

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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