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Teenager’s battle with cancer inspired community

Suzanne Long, right, and Autumn Christian embrace in front of a growing tribute outside of Kalles Junior High in memory of Logan Lewis, who died Tuesday after a 10-year bout with cancer. The two neighborhood moms left flowers and expressed sympathy for the family’s “tragic loss.” Long’s son was a schoolmates of Logan’s.
Suzanne Long, right, and Autumn Christian embrace in front of a growing tribute outside of Kalles Junior High in memory of Logan Lewis, who died Tuesday after a 10-year bout with cancer. The two neighborhood moms left flowers and expressed sympathy for the family’s “tragic loss.” Long’s son was a schoolmates of Logan’s. dperine@thenewstribune.com

Logan Lewis, the teenager whose 10-year fight with cancer galvanized the Puyallup community, died Tuesday from the disease, his father told The News Tribune.

Loganfest, a fundraiser started in his honor during his initial health battle in 2007, generated more than $100,000 for children fighting cancer.

Logan, 15, was a ninth-grader at Kalles Junior High School in Puyallup, where #LoganStrong is spelled out in the chain-link fence. He planned to attend Puyallup High School next year.

Loganfest included a 3-on-3 basketball tournament inspired by Hoopfest, the huge 3-on-3 tournament held annually in Spokane. Proceeds each year were given to a family in need.

“It’s amazing how people came together to make it for me,” Logan told the Puyallup Herald last week.

As the continued costs of driving back and forth to Seattle Children’s Hospital piled up, the 2016 Loganfest was the first time the Lewis family received proceeds of the fundraiser.

The 2017 edition of Loganfest, intended to be the last one, had been scheduled for March 17-18. The event was postponed this week as Logan’s health took a turn for the worse.

The Lewis family chronicled Logan’s ups and downs at loganstrong.com, where the most recent post called the teen an inspiration and thanked people for respecting the family’s privacy.

“I just wanted to send out a quick thank you to everyone. Family, friends and everyone who is praying for our family,” wrote Jason Lewis, Logan’s father. “Our family sees every comment, and they help us get to the next minute. This is the worst feeling … especially the helplessness. There are near-constant tears being shed.”

Logan was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma at age 5. The childhood cancer, which afflicts the nervous system, had spread throughout his body. A softball-sized tumor was removed two days after the diagnosis.

A year later — after about six chemo treatments, 50 blood transfusions, a stem cell transplant and the experimental antibody regimen — his cancer was in remission.

The aggressive cancer treatments came with side effects, including minor hearing loss.

But Logan was undeterred.

“My mom wants me to be a doctor,” he told the Herald in 2015. “But I say not really. I still want to do golf.”

The cancer returned later that year.

Information from The News Tribune archives was used in this report.

Kenny Ocker: 253-597-8627, @KennyOcker

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