Logan has just been accepted onto a new immunotherapy UK trial which has just started at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool. He will begin treatment there on 19th November. This means Logan will get the treatment he needs and the family will not be split up for months and months.
Logan was born 2nd May 2007. He had some health problems since being a baby, but over the previous year, the symptoms got worse, with Logan suffering pains in his stomach and back, which made his legs weak and wobbly.
His parents, Amanda and Ian, took him to the doctor on numerous occasions and Logan was given lactulose and calpol. But the pain continued, so Amanda and Ian took him to hospital. Once more they sent home with painkillers and without a diagnosis.
Finally, a doctor arranged for Logan to go into the local hospital’s children’s ward for investigation. After an ultrasound doctors found that Logan had a tumour in his abdomen and diagnosed stage 4 neuroblastoma. Logan immediately started an 80-day course of chemotherapy, and Amanda and Ian were given so much information about treatments and the disease that they felt their heads were spinning.
Logan had surgery at the end of June and will go on to have high dose chemotherapy. After his chemotherapy Logan faces a bone marrow transplant, radiotherapy and restaging, when the progress of the neuroblastoma will be thoroughly checked again to make sure that he gets the right treatment for him.
Logan has gone from being a funny, happy child, who used to make his friends and family laugh with his funny sayings, to being a frail little boy. He has lost a lot of weight since his diagnosis. He regularly experiences high temperatures, which means frequent stays in hospital and many courses antibiotics. He has needed a lot of blood transfusions and platelets, so much so that he has become neutropenic. This means that he is very susceptible to infections as his immune system is weak. His parents know when he is feeling poorly, as he becomes very sleepy, pale and weak.
Logan was only four years old when he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. At the time he had just started school and was making friends, and to his mum, he seemed too young to be going to school. Now, with all he’s been through, his mum feels as if he speaks like he is much older. Amanda said, “I don’t know how he keeps going, just dealing with all the things he has to go through is so hard, but he still always has a smile for us.”
The family have a lot to deal with. Logan has an older brother Max, aged 12, with autistic spectrum disorder. His sister, Amy, aged 8, has Down’s Syndrome. Logan’s mum, Amanda, has lupus, an autoimmune disease. This has caused her to have numerous hip and knee replacements. To top it all, Amanda has just broken both of her legs, due to brittle bones caused by the lupus. This means that Logan’s dad Ian has had to give up his job to care for the whole family.
Logan loves watching Ben 10 and Scooby Doo, and playing with Lego, especially his little Lego men. Like many children, he also really loves his Xbox! Since becoming ill, Logan no longer wants to go outside to play, although he used to love going to the park, climbing on his climbing frame in the back garden and bouncing around on the trampoline.
So far, Logan hasn’t responded as hoped to chemotherapy, and still has neuroblastoma cells in his bone marrow. Logan was part of a SIOPEN immunotherapy trial taking place in the UK, but his residual disease meant he did not fit the trial criteria. Logan’s oncologist at Manchester Children’s Hospital, told Amanda and Ian that to give Logan the best chance of beating neuroblastoma for good, he needs to receive immunotherapy treatment so the family looked into treatment at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in America.
Sadly, Logan missed the time slot to receive immunotherapy treatment in Philadelphia, as treatment on that trial has to begin within 100 days of a bone marrow transplant. While Logan’s family are understandably upset, there is some good news, as Logan has been accepted onto a new UK trial which has just started at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool. He will begin treatment there on 19th November.
While this treatment is part of an immunotherapy trial, it is not exactly the same as the treatment Logan would have received in America, where three drugs are used instead of the two that Logan will receive in Liverpool.
Logan’s appeal with Neuroblastoma Alliance UK for treatment costs abroad has been put on hold. All funds raised for Logan so far will be ring-fenced and will remain available for Logan should he need further treatment in the future. Sadly, for children with neuroblastoma, relapse rates are high.
Any funds raised for Logan will be kept for him in his special fund. Should Logan not require further treatment in the next 5 years, the money raised will be released to help other children with neuroblastoma.