Fundraisers aim to help 11-year-old Logan Truelove, family
May 28, 2017
Eleven-year-old Logan Truelove has lots of dreams.
They include the day he will return to school with his classmates, the day he will be able to leave his video game console behind to run and play with his friends in the yard and, most of all, the day he may have a chance to travel to Cincinnati, Ohio, where doctors will help him deal with the chronic pain and illness that has stolen a large part of his childhood.
"I just want to go to Cincinnati," Logan said from his home last week. "That's all I know, and that's all I want to do."
Logan suffers from an autonomic nervous system dysfunction called pediatric dysautonomia, which includes postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome and severe gastroparesis.
"Any function the body does autonomically, where you don't think about it, can be effected in some way," Logan's father, Cory Truelove said.
Logan's mother, Yvonne, said the symptoms began showing up when Logan was only 5 and became more pronounced as time went on. Logan's complaints included brain fog, upset stomach and headaches — not to mention pain.
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Initially, Yvonne thought her son had a bug, but when the symptoms continued, she took him to a doctor looking for answers.
Logan's parents even sent him to a therapist, thinking he might be suffering from anxiety issues. But eventually, the therapist told the Trueloves they needed to return to the physician who had told Yvonne and Cory that Logan should see a specialist. The family traveled to Denver, where they saw more than one — a gastroenterologist, a cardiologist, a neurologist and a surgeon. Logan also underwent many procedures, tests and medications before he was diagnosed.
Logan has a gastric pacemaker, a device implanted beneath his skin that sends mild electrical signals to the stomach that help with his gastroparesis. But that was only one of the conditions he was dealing with, and as he has grown older, his symptoms and pain have increased, and his quality of life has significantly deteriorated. Now, he spends a good portion of his life in bed or in a wheelchair, due to the pain.
"He can get up and move around and does a lot of stuff, but if he does too much, it tires him out and causes symptoms. The pain, the "brain fog" and everything else increases, and if he is too active, for too long a period, it can put him down for days," Corey said.
So, the family has spent the past three years trying to adapt their lives to help curb Logan's symptoms. Thankfully, they receive some help from Betty's mother, who is retired and more than willing to stop by and check on Logan during the day, when Cory, a senior technology specialist for the school district, and Betty, who has worked at Horizons Specialized Services for 14 years, are at work.
Betty's mom has also allowed the family to use her car for the numerous trips they have made back and forth to Denver. The parents take turns driving Logan to doctors’ appointments during the year.
But, while they were hoping the specialist in Denver could cure, or at least treat, Logan's conditions, they have been told by doctors that he has reached the end of the road when it comes to the care they can provide.
"The doctors in Denver told us that there wasn't much more they could do for Logan, and a couple of years ago, they started talking about Cincinnati Children’s,” Corey said. “We were hoping that we would be able to figure it out in Denver, because of finances, but we have gone as far as we can."
Thanks to the family's Go Fund Me page — gofundme.com/help-logan-live-with-chronic-pain — they have enough money to apply to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital’s inpatient rehabilitation program, but Logan will still need to be accepted. If he is, the family will need to come up with more money to cover expenses while Logan is being cared for. The program in Cincinnati normally lasts at least two months.
Yvonne said the program will not cure Logan but will get him the care, and the skills he needs, to help deal with his condition when he returns to Steamboat.
"A huge piece of it is learning the tools to be successful in life, even though he has chronic illness and chronic pain," Yvonne said. "He will have school two hours a day — one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon. The rest of his time is filled with things like group therapy, message, exercise and physical training."
There will also be doctors on hand to help Logan with his medication and, hopefully, fine tune it. Logan currently takes five pills at night, five in the morning and one in the afternoon. There will also be tests and information that should help Logan and the family deal with his symptoms.
Cory is optimistic the doctors can help Logan learn to exercise in a way that will allow him to live a more complete life, including getting back to school and playing with the large group of friends that has supported him through his ordeal.
"I just hope that I get better, feel better and don't hurt anymore," Logan said. "I hope that I find ways to actually help myself when I am hurting or maybe just completely get rid of the pain. That's all I'm hoping for — just to feel better."
Through it all, Yvonne has been focusing on the good.
"We are so thankful for all of Logan's friends who care for him and support him," she said. "I've come to realize what amazing friends we have … and just how lucky we are just to live here. We feel so blessed to live in Steamboat, and I still can't believe all the support we have gotten. It's humbling."
In addition to the Go Fund Me page, there will also be a fundraiser June 1 at the 10th Street Barber Shop, with five hairstylist donating their tips to Logan for the day. The shop is open from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Katie Moore, an employee at the shop who helped organize the event, said people can also drop by and make donations throughout the day, even if they don't need a trim.
"Logan has been coming in to get his hair cut here for years," Moore said. "We've developed a relationship with him. They are a good, hard-working family, and we just want to help them out."
A few days later, on June 9, a second fundraiser will be held at Schmiggity's, 821 Lincoln Ave. That business will hold a silent auction, and the band "Wish You Were Pink" will appear a few hours earlier than normal to play a special set. That event will run from 6 to 9 p.m., with the band on the stage beginning at 8 p.m.
"I have learned how to live moment to moment trying not to think too much about what the next hour is gong to hold," Best said. "I can't stop thinking about how brave and how amazing Logan is."