LITTLE SILVER, NJ - Logan is four years old. He has a smile that would melt the coldest winter day. He is an expressive, happy and carefree child; but on September 1, 2010 his parents, Rich Parker and Nancy Pahl of Ocean Township, New Jersey, received news that no parent ever wants to hear. Logan had been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). But the horror of that news did not stop there. At first it was believed that with several years of chemotherapy, Logan would be among the 80-90% of survivors of this disease and be cancer-free. He was placed in a “standard risk” category. However, in early October, they were struck with another blow. Tests had shown that Logan actually had a very rare type of ALL…hypodiploid ALL. In hypodiploid ALL, the individual does not have all the genetically-complete chromosomes necessary for humans. In this case, the survival rate is 40 – 50% and Logan has now been placed in a “very high risk category” and is currently undergoing a very aggressive chemotherapy treatment.
Because of the rarity of his disease, his case was presented to the Leukemia Board at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) who has recommended an umbilical cord blood stem cell transplant. The transplant – fraught with its own risks – will take place in early February. He will remain in the hospital for at least six weeks .In addition to the emotional and psychological toll this is taking on the family, there is also the financial burden.
While, up to this point, insurance has covered a great deal of the medical expenses, the future is increasingly uncertain. Add to that the fact that Nancy has had to quit her job in order to care for Logan and when he is hospitalized, Rich often loses time from his job as a restaurant server. While Logan is at CHOP, Rich will be taking a leave from his job in order to be with Nancy and him. He doesn’t make a lot of money to begin with and the loss of even one day’s pay creates worry and anxiety. However, he fears being so far away from Logan with so much hanging in the balance. The hospital stay for the transplant is estimated to be at least six weeks.
The Logan James Parker Fund was established to help the family with the financial issues that lay ahead. Friends have already begun organizing fundraisers, selling awareness bracelets and seeking outright donations. But, there is a long road to be traveled and so much more is needed. Any help that can be provided to this family is more than welcomed and accepted with the deepest gratitude.
The next fundraiser will be a Super Bowl Party to be held at Howell Township’s Southard Fire House on February 6th. We are reaching out to friends, neighbors and local merchants to ask for assistance with this, and future, fundraisers. For the Super Party we are seeking help in the form of food, beverage and other supply donations as well as monetary donations. If you think you might be able to help, please contact John or Margaret Tucker at 732-905-9144. A list of items needed for this event appears on the reverse of this letter. We would be very grateful for any assistance you can offer. You can also follow Logan James Parker on Facebook and Twitter .
His father states, “His strength is magnified by the prayers and love of others."