Little Logan's Journey

Five weeks ago, Logan Haanskorf, an eight-year-old highly energetic, loving and caring boy was diagnosed with every parent’s worst nightmare: Cancer. He was diagnosed with a brain stem glioma; a tumour on his brain stem in the centre of his brain.

This terrible news was even harder for his family to hear as Logan’s mum had just celebrated being six years cancer free after a long battle with breast cancer.

Logan was admitted into Westmead Children’s Hospital on the 4th of July. Within an hour after admission a neurological surgeon came to explain that a team of oncologists, paediatricians and neurological surgeons were meeting early the following day to look at Logan’s scan and try to put an action plan together to remove the tumour. Unfortunately, Logan’s tumour was positioned in the centre of his brain and it wasn’t going to be an easy task to remove. The position of the tumour made the surgery high risk, but there was no other option.

A week later, on the 11th July, Logan underwent an eight-hour surgery to remove as much of the tumour as possible. The Drs managed to remove around 90% of the tumour, however some of it was too close to important brain tissue and couldn’t be removed. During his surgery Logan unfortunately suffered a stroke which blocked a major artery in his brain affecting the entire left-hand side of his body, his face, his voice, his left hand, arm and wrist, the entire left leg, ankle and foot.

He stayed in ICU for 9 days whilst the nurses did a constant balancing act between heparin and adrenalin to thin his blood out and raise his blood pressure at the same time to try to force it through the blocked artery in his brain while also making sure not to cause another bleed.

Logan’s eyes have considerable damage also, the tumour damaged the nerves in Logan’s right eye to the extent that he can no longer see clearly nor look up or right with that eye and the stroke has also affected the nerves in his left eye in that it struggles to look left and track properly.

Due to the extensive damage the stroke has caused, Oncology decided to wait for any chemo or radio therapy until after his 6-month MRI to check on the progression of the tumour.

Logan now needs ongoing occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech, psychological assistance, child life therapy, as well as a wheel chair, hand, foot and back braces, additional home and school care and major optical work.

Even after all he has endured over the last five weeks Logan is so grateful and appreciative of all that he has. Logan physically looks different, his speech has altered, his physical movements are awkward and he mentally performs differently, but behind that cheeky smile, he is still Logan, a boy with a quirky sense of humour and roguish boy charm. He is a very determined and motivated 8-year-old boy who wants to prove his surgeons, therapists and doctors that miracles can happen.

In 2010, Logan’s mum, Rachel, was diagnosed with breast cancer, undergoing surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. During this time, Rachel had to take unpaid leave from work as she had not acquired a permanent teaching position. The financial strain during this time was unbearable.

It is with your help we'd like to give them the financial support to assist in ongoing medical expenses, bills, rehabilitation, adjustments (structurally/furniture/equipment/resources) needed at home and school and any specialist care Logan will need to ensure he is given every opportunity to succeed and every opportunity to get the very best out of life and to allow Logan’s parents and family to focus on getting Logan home where he can then begin the next steps in his recovery.
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Rachel Haanskorf 
Lake Haven NSW

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