Logan Channel (left) and his cousin Lucas.
ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- Logan Channel is just five years old. He doesn't even know the word, "hospice." He doesn't understand what "terminal" means. He hears people say "stage 4 cancer," and he just knows he hurts ... a lot.
My heart breaks when I talk with Logan's family. They live in Orange Park in the Oakleaf area. His grandmother, Beverly Staklinski, is trying to deal with pain beyond words. Pain doubled.
You see, this is the part of the story that gets to me so much. Beverly's daughter -- Logan's mom -- died giving birth to him. Now Beverly says, in tears, it "doesn't seem fair" she has to lose her daughter and now her grandson.
Logan's father explains that his son has a rare childhood cancer called neuroblastoma. According to Mayo Clinic, "Neuroblastoma most commonly affects children age 5 or younger, though it may rarely occur in older children." The cancer spreads to various parts of the body.
In Logan's case, according to his nurse, Jessica Terrell at Nemours Children's Clinic in Jacksonville, the cancer is the worst right now around his liver. That explains why Logan's skin is so yellow.
He also has cancer in his bones, especially his knees. In fact, while I was talking with Logan, he was happily trying to spell his name and, all of the sudden, he cried out, "Ouch!" He grabbed his knee in agony.
He said it feels like a "dinosaur is trying to eat me."
Logan is on morphine, and hospice nurses are working with the family. His grandmother tells me doctors are telling them Logan will probably pass away around Thanksgiving.
His dad is just telling Logan that "things will get worse before they get better." It's his way of saying, he says, that Logan will be struggling but then he'll be in Heaven with no pain.
Of course, like any little fellow, Logan is already making his wish list for Christmas. He pointed to the fireplace and told me, "Hey, hey! You know Santa comes down from there." He wants some drums for Christmas, he says, for two reasons. One is to make noise and wake up "Mimi" (Grandma) like an alarm clock. The other is to chase away "monsters" at night.
He also loves the Justice League and Super Heroes and transformers. His grandparents say he likes it when they read him cards from people two and three times.
At Nemours, his nurse, Jessica, says, "There's always a little hope." She says, though, he's too ill to qualify for any medical trials. They've sent his information to hospitals in Philadelphia and Atlanta and he's just not eligible.
However, Logan's family is hoping people will donate to childhood cancer research, especially for neuroblastoma, which receives a tiny slice of research money. You can contact Nemours if you're interested in helping a new project to raise funds.
How else can you help?
1. Friends and family members tell me Beverly lost her job taking care of Logan. They say she could use grocery store gift cards, especially since family members are coming in to their home to visit with Logan.
2. You can also donate to the family's Vystar Credit Union account, if you choose. The info is: Robert Staklinski, Routing #263079276, Account #703018556
3. Beverly said please pray and send cards and Facebook messages. You can mail gift cards and good wishes to our TV station. Logan's favorite hero, Batman, will deliver them next week to his family.
The address is:
First Coast News
1070 E. Adams Street
Jacksonville, FL 32207
Thank you for your support.
First Coast News