OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Nothing brings a smile to nine year old Logan Stewart’s face faster than his cats. He has three, named Oreo, Sally and Batman, and he loves to play with them.
“I know Sally has a favorite person and that’s definitely me. All the time at night she’ll just come and snuggle me,” says Logan.
Logan’s mother, Katie Stewart, describes him as a boy who is sweet, cautious and logical.
“He’s not your typical rough housing boy,” says Katie.
The Stewarts are a family of four from Woodward, and the past six months have been a whirlwind.
The alarm began to build last winter.
“Logan had been having headaches that were increasing in intensity, and they started to include vomiting and changes with his vision,” says Katie. “It was actually our eye doctor who diagnosed it. He was able to tell that Logan’s optic nerves were so swollen that he almost couldn’t see them. He sent us straight to OU Children’s Hospital that day. “
The news was shocking: Craniopharyngioma, a massive, benign brain tumor that threatened Logan’s life due to its fast growth.
Katie recalls, “They admitted us that night because his brain tumor was so large it was blocking the cerebral spinal fluid from being able to drain, which was causing intra-cranial pressure. You never think it’s going to be your kid, until it’s your kid.”
The images of Logan’s tumor are alarming. Surgery removed 95 percent of the tumor. Logan experienced extreme swelling, which eventually subsided as his hair began to regrow and cover the scar stretching from his right ear to the top of his head. Weeks of proton radiation therapy followed, targeting the small piece of tumor doctors could not safely reach. Logan’s mom Katie explains.
“They’ve told us the tumor will be there for life. We just have to watch to see if it’s going to grow again. They’ll do MRI every three months to monitor,” she said.
Since the tumor also damaged his pituitary gland, he’ll also require hormone therapies in the future.
As tough as this experience was, the Stewarts say the staff at OU Children’s Hospital and Jimmy Everest Cancer Center found ways to constantly encourage Logan daily.
He recalls, “When I went to the hospital for 10 days I got to see therapy dogs.”
His mom agrees saying, “I feel like they care about every kid, and it feels very holistic because they have so many departments right there and they communicate so well with each other.”
Logan is now back home in Woodward with his younger sister and his cats. His life is altered but in most ways it’s also restored, and his family has high hopes for a full and normal life ahead. “His scans look very good. He looks stable,” says Logan’s mom.
Logan adds, “I get a little tired, but recently I’m nearing full energy!”
If you’d like to help kids like Logan fight life-threatening illnesses, consider donating to JECFriends.org.