When life hands you lemons, just squeeze them really hard and make lemonade. We’ve all heard it. We’ve also read it on decals, refrigerator magnets, bumper stickers, and posters.
Logan Bryan, a graduating 18-year-old Marcus High School senior living in Flower Mound, certainly heard and read about the lemons-to-lemonade advice. She agreed with the philosophy but decided to go beyond lemonade with her personal pile of lemons. The result is Logan’s Light, a non-profit that raised $80,000 for Children’s Health through its first charity event. The funds are tagged for financial assistance to families with children needing treatment for a variety of facial abnormalities.
The story began when Logan was only six months old. That’s when a hemangioma (a red, somewhat rubbery, benign tumor of blood vessels, sometimes referred to as “clown’s nose”) began forming on the tip of her tiny nose.
Wendy and Matt Bryan, Logan’s parents, made an immediate appointment with their baby’s pediatrician. He explained the tumor would grow rapidly, much faster than her nose, and would take years to eradicate. Removal was impossible until Logan was around five years old because of the copious bleeding involved with the surgery.
Logan grew. The tumor grew even faster.
“Her early surgeon was Dr. Burns, one of only two surgeons in the entire country who dealt with this condition,” explained Wendy. “He recommended laser treatments, which would aggravate the blood vessels in the tumor and cause them to migrate to other parts of her body. Removal of the tumor would be safe when the color went from red to a more natural skin shade. One of the most difficult things for us to watch was when the tumor turned an intense shade of purple when she sucked on her bottle.”
The tumor was removed when Logan was 4 ½, leaving her with extensive scarring.
“I knew I looked different,” she said. “I heard things other adults said to my parents, things that weren’t always nice. Mom and dad worked hard to keep life positive and to instill in me what they called God-fidence. Taylor, my sister who is three years older, was very protective of me.”
Wendy picked up the story, saying, “We wanted them to learn the true meaning of ‘turning the other cheek’ without becoming victims. Everything happening during that time is part of what makes our daughters who they are.”
Dr. Rod J. Rohrich of Dallas Plastic Surgery Institute took over the reconstruction of Logan’s nose. She underwent laser treatments, more surgeries, and injections. The goals were to reshape and smooth her nose, with the trail of treatments lasting from infancy until she was 16.
“Dr. Rohrich, and many other people, saw something special in Logan,” said Logan’s Light Board member Meaghan Evanich. “He asked her to help him with a fund-raising project when she was still quite young. He’s always available for advice for her foundation and she, in turn, participates in events that show seriously productive uses for plastic surgery.”
Logan initiated a discussion with her parents in her junior year.
“She’d been thinking,” Wendy said. “She came to us one night and, first, thanked us for paying for all her treatments. She then asked what kids would do if their parents couldn’t pay. She said she wanted to start a GoFundMe page to help them.
“We asked how much she wanted to raise and she said maybe $500. She went to $1,000 after we encouraged her. She ended up with $12,600.”
Dr. Rohrich told Logan not to stop and to think big and outside the box. He also advised appointing a Board of ten women, with each one having a different talent. The idea grew until Logan’s Light emerged, dedicated to raising both funding and awareness.
The organization’s inaugural event, dinner with an auction, raffle, and gift pull, was held at the Denton County Country Club on January 26, 2023. Tickets sold out immediately, with more than 200 in attendance and $80,000 raised.
Logan leaves for her first semester at the University of Alabama in June, where her sister, Taylor, is a junior. Logan will major in a six-year psychology program with an emphasis on child psychology.
“I’m so grateful I had this experience,” Logan insisted, “because it provided the inspiration for Logan’s Light. There are so many positives and so many silver linings. Logan’s Light’s mission will continue, even while I’m away at school. I know I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.”