Rexburg couple forging ahead after 2-year-old daughter receives life-altering diagnosis
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REXBURG – After a week of sleepless nights and a life-altering diagnosis for their 2-year-old daughter, a local couple is happy to be back home with a new perspective on life.
Chris and Carrissa Logan, of Rexburg, learned last week their daughter, Stella, had B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a type of cancer that affects the white blood cells inside the bone marrow, according to Webmd.com.
Though the diagnosis is not terminal and will require monthly treatments at Primary Children’s Hospital for the next several months, Chris says it’s still been a difficult journey and one of the most stressful weeks of his life.
“The initial conversation that your 2-year-old has cancer hits like a ton of bricks,” Chris tells EastIdahoNews.com. “After a lot of tears, we felt the love and prayers of everyone around us, and that’s made us feel a lot more calm and peaceful.”
It all started about a month ago when Stella had a snotty nose, cough and other cold-like symptoms. The symptoms eventually went away but two weeks later, she was complaining of an earache.
They took her to the doctor and Stella was put on an antibiotic. Several days later, Stella’s symptoms began to escalate.
“She started having non-stop fevers. They were low-grade fevers, but they were constant all day, all night. She was also really complaining about body aches,” says Chris.
They continued to monitor her and after several days, her appetite had improved and she appeared to be getting better.
Two weeks ago, Carrissa went to get Stella out of her crib. When she put Stella on the floor, Stella collapsed.
“She couldn’t stand up. Her legs had no life in them at all,” Chris says.
They immediately took her to the doctor. A blood test revealed Stella’s red and white blood cell count was low. After a day or two, she became anemic, and Stella was rushed to the ER at Madison Memorial Hospital for a blood transfusion.
Chris and Carrissa were encouraged by Stella’s boost in energy level the next day and her desire to play. But as the day progressed, Stella was not improving and was becoming more lethargic.
At first, Chris says the doctor thought it was Parvovirus B19, a mild rash illness that usually affects children and includes many of the symptoms Stella was experiencing.
Over the next 24 hours, Stella continued to get worse with fevers between 102 and 104 degrees. The following morning, doctors determined Stella had leukemia cells in her blood and referred her to Primary Children’s Hospital for further testing.
After arriving in Salt Lake and recounting everything that happened, the Logans eventually got a firm diagnosis of B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
“There was no way we could have foreseen this as neither Carrissa nor I have blood disorders in our family history,” Chris wrote in a recent Facebook post. “We can’t express how grateful we are for the nonstop expressions of kindness and love our family has received from friends and family, and the countless numbers of prayers being offered for us, we feel them and they’re strengthening us. Stella is a strong girl and well taken care of by her family, friends and providers, and we feel she’ll beat cancer and come out victorious.”
After a 10-day stay in the hospital, the Logans say their daughter is doing well, and they’re grateful to the doctors and staff who treated her and helped make them comfortable. They’re delighted their little girl is going to be OK and glad to be back home in Rexburg.
“She will receive weekly treatment at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City for the next several months,” Chris wrote on Facebook Sunday night. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to split appointments between Utah and Idaho down the road. While the cancer is already moving towards remission, she will not be cancer-free for 2 1/2 years or so.”
Since Stella’s diagnosis, several friends have created a GoFundMe account on the Logans’ behalf to help pay for medical and travel expenses. More than $4,600 have been raised since it launched last week.
Chris says they are touched and humbled by the prayers and support of friends, neighbors and members of the community.
“We can’t express enough gratitude for that. We know there are people who have donated who have less than us, and it blows us away how kind and generous everyone (has been), especially the people we don’t even know,” says Chris. “We pray that everyone who’s supported us in any way will feel our love and gratitude in return and be blessed for their kindness.”
Our attorneys tell us we need to put this disclaimer in stories involving fundraisers: EastIdahoNews.com does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries.