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Logan’s Beach Wheelchair Enables Him to Play in the Sand

Logan plays at the edge of the Pacific Ocean<br /><em>PHOTO: Trevor Stolebarger</em> PHOTO: Trevor Stolebarger

“ It allowed Logan to do what other kids can do. ”


- Lisa, Logan’s mom

Logan is a five-year-old who loves the color blue, PB&J sandwiches with strawberry jelly and the sound of waves at the beach. He is also a paraplegic with a disease of the spinal cord that prevents him from walking on the sand.

The Call That Brought Them Together

When Lisa and her husband Michael received the call to foster Logan and his brother Gabriel, they took on the responsibility of housing and caring for children under the age of two. The youngest, Logan, needed immediate treatment for a life-threatening disease.

In a letter to Make-A-Wish, Lisa wrote about the realities of her sons’ difficult background and Logan’s debilitating condition. They adopted Logan and Gabriel and began adapting their lives to the challenge. This required an increased knowledge of medical care and a new mortgage for a home to accommodate Logan’s wheelchair. Lisa is nearing her 60s and Michael is already 61, so these changes in their lifestyle were seen as “nuts” by their friends.

“We received Logan into our home at seven months of age. OK, that’s fine. We can handle that. We didn’t know a thing about it, but we soon found out,” she wrote. “We fell in love with them immediately upon receiving them into our home … Our life now revolves around Logan and his brother. Doctors, sports that we can find for them, having kids over so they can have friends …”

A Normal Day at the Beach

As Logan grows, it has become more and more difficult for Lisa and Michael to transport or carry him to the sand. The only way he can truly play on the beach is with a beach wheelchair.

On the first day of his wish, Logan was able to use one to navigate the sand. Free from the restraints of a walker or regular wheelchair, he was able to look for sand crabs and surf on a boogie board with his brother.

Lisa said, “We were able to watch him play in the sand, splash in the ocean and just be a kid with no worries.”

Before his beach adventure in San Diego with his family, Logan’s wish granters were moved by the letter that Lisa wrote to refer her son for a wish.

Her Letter on His Behalf

Lisa was initially hesitant to refer Logan.

In her letter she explained her mixed feelings, writing, “… maybe because I don’t want to take away a wish from another child … maybe because I/we don’t ever ask help or assistance from anyone, maybe because it’s hard to wrap my brain around the fact that things are not normal for him and all of that makes me sad.”

She finally decided to reach out because of a difficult week in Logan’s treatment, where multiple procedures coincided with the fear that he would have an autonomic dyresflexia attack. This would cause an extreme increase in blood pressure that could lead to a stroke and endanger his life.

She reflects, “He is now at the age where he knows he can’t run, keep up or do lots of things other kids can.” For Lisa and her husband, this knowledge coupled with the fear of an AD attack pushed them to refer Logan.

Lisa’s closing words speak of the pain her family experiences in watching him grow up without his mobility and independence.

“We, on Logan’s behalf, humbly ask for time away, to not think of doctors, or hospitals, or if he will fall at school …” she wrote. “My heart breaks for our little monkey as he ages and realizes his limitations and is now just plain scared when he goes to the hospital.”

Lisa and Michael chose to be advocates for Logan as his awareness of his illness increases.

What others might take for granted was a rare opportunity for their family. A week at the beach meant a much needed refresh in the midst of stressful treatments.

 

  • Enjoying the clear sky and perfect weather
    PHOTO: Trevor Stolebarger

  • The brothers shovel away sand
    PHOTO: Trevor Stolebarger

  • Lounging together on the beach
    PHOTO: Trevor Stolebarger

  • Logan plays at the edge of the Pacific Ocean
    PHOTO: Trevor Stolebarger

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June 25, 2012 - 11:25 AM

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