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Logan is looking for another Miracle Weekend

Posted on 27/04/2010 12:00am

Logan Johnson-Lay is a student at Coquitlam's Como Lake middle school and has been selected to be the "face" of the 25th anniversary BC Children's Hospital ChildRun.

Jennifer Gauthier/The Tri-City News
By Diane Strandberg - The Tri-City News
Published: April 27, 2010

What do you say when your beautiful daughter lifts her freckled face up to yours and says, "It's the right thing to do." If you are Jennifer Montgomery, you simply agree and start emailing people.

That's how Montgomery and her 12-year-old daughter Logan Johnson-Lay began their fundraising campaign for the BC Children's Hospital ChildRun. Logan, a Grade 7 student at Como Lake middle school in Coquitlam, wants to raise $25,000 towards the $1-million ChildRun goal to support the hospital's oncology department.

So far, she's about 25% of the way toward that goal and her mother has no doubt she will reach her target.

"The hospital has given her so much," Montgomery says. Her daughter wants to give some of that support back and the ChildRun held June 6 on the Children's Miracle Weekend seemed like the best way - and the best time - to do that.

It was five years ago this June that the family spent an anxious night at the hospital waiting for the brain scan results that would explain why then eight-year-old Logan was wan and listless, as if she was suffering from a flu that wouldn't go away. When they got the news that the little girl had multiple brain tumours, including one that was inoperable, the family knew they faced a challenge. Logan wasn't given much of a chance of survival; in fact, Montgomery said she was told her daughter only had two weeks to live.

"We were obviously in shock."

With the grim diagnosis on their minds, they were surprised to see a carnival atmosphere outside the hospital. "There was all these people and we were like, ‚¬Ã…¡¬ÃƒÆ’‚¬¹Ãƒ€¦‚¬Å“Why?' [and then we found out about Miracle Weekend and the ChildRun] and then it was ‚¬Ã…¡¬ÃƒÆ’‚¬¹Ãƒ€¦‚¬Å“Oh, thank God we got diagnosed on the Miracle Weekend.'"

Each year since, Logan persevered and the family has become involved with the ChildRun.

The intervening years haven't been easy. Logan, who has also attended Lord Baden Powell and Alderson elementary schools, has been in hospital more than she has been at home. In five years, she has undergone four major brain surgeries and had 153 doses of chemotherapy and 31 doses of full brain and spine radiation treatments.

Her tumour has been stable for six months and she is on the road to a cure that no one thought was possible.

This year, she was selected to be the face of the 25th anniversary ChildRun. Her portrait and personal story have been published on the campaign website and she has a personal website where people can donate or sign up to be on her team.

"Soon as she was asked, [she said] ‚¬Ã…¡¬ÃƒÆ’‚¬¹Ãƒ€¦‚¬Å“Well, it's 25 years, and five years since I was diagnosed. We should make it big - get 250 people to join our team and raise $25,000," Montgomery recalls her daughter saying.

In addition to raising money for the ChildRun and organizing a team for the event, Montgomery and her daughter are planning a fundraising gala at the Sheraton Guildford in Surrey. It will be held the night before the ChildRun, on June 5. The two are looking for auction items for the night as well as super-hero costumes for Logan's team to wear during the ChildRun.

Montgomery explained the idea for a fundraising dinner came about in a surprising twist to another family challenge. The family had been living at Sheraton hotel for three and a half months while their house was being restored after a house fire. The hotel staff met Logan and wanted to do something for her.

"They jumped on board and said, ‚¬Ã…¡¬ÃƒÆ’‚¬¹Ãƒ€¦‚¬Å“We'll sponsor it.' It took on a life of its own."

Logan, 12, is back at Como Lake middle school, leaving Montgomery to deal with many of the details of a fundraiser, a job she doesn't mind doing as long as the miracles keep coming.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Join Logan's ChildRun team or contribute to her fundraising campaign visit https://secure.bcchf.ca/ChildRun/ and click on Logan's Story or Support a Participant. Logan's full name is Logan Johnson-Lay.

To contribute an auction item or attend Logan's fundraising gala June 5 at the Sheraton Guildford, call 604-463-9493 or email Jennifer Montgomery at jmontgomery@shaw.ca.

ChildRun takes place June 6 and the goal is to raise $1 million for research and equipment to fight childhood cancer.

dstrandberg@tricitynews.com

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