For 23-year old Logan Lay, cancer has been a daily reality since being diagnosed with a brain tumour at the age of 8.
Her journey has seen multiple surgeries, chemotherapy and full brain and spine radiation.
Coping with the long-term challenges
Today, after a total of three relapses, Logan’s tumour is stable, but she still struggles with the realities that come with long-term effects of cancer, including autonomic crises that occur from her body not being able to regulate basic functions like blood pressure, heart rate, digestion, vomiting or breathing.
These otherwise normal functions cause Logan to have trouble standing and walking, resulting in her use of a wheelchair and the need for constant care.
“Cancer has affected me in every way. I have had hundreds and hundreds of doses of chemo and transfusions and surgeries and radiation and I still have this nasty lesion in my brain that wreaks havoc on my system so physically I am not strong as others,” says Logan. “I haven’t been able to keep up with my peer group or live a ‘normal life’ and maintain a job or finish college but I have learned to pivot my expectations and embrace the experiences I do have and where I am at. I think I have become someone who appreciates life in a way that maybe not every one does.”
Uniting family and forming bonds
As Logan continues to navigate the disease, she reflects on the impact cancer has had on her and her family – bringing both heartbreak and moments of joy into their lives.
Since her diagnosis, the family has travelled to over 30 countries, documenting their travels and life with cancer through their blog, lifealloverthemap.com.
Logan has also found comfort in community, forging special relationships with other young cancer patients, including Tamara O’Brien who passed away from melanoma in the Fall of 2019.
“Most of the friends I make have a lot of health issues and many of them die from their disease, which has made me realize how short life is,” says Logan. “It has also made my relationships and my friendships very real.”
In honour of September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness month, we honour Logan and the many young patients in B.C. who are undergoing cancer treatment.
Together, with our donor community, we won’t stop supporting young patients like Logan.