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Cancer-free toddler is honorary firefighter

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POSTED: December 7, 2010 1:18 p.m.
Photo by Hallie D. Martin/

Ron Becker, left, a captain in the Bryan County Fire Department, along with Division Chief Mike Smith and Capt. Asa Clay present a certificate Logan Vance, 3, Tuesday, making him an honorary firefighter.

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Logan Vance shyly sat on a Bryan County fire truck Tuesday evening with his fingers in his mouth as two captains and a division chief handed him a certificate naming the 3-year-old an honorary firefighter.
Logan is only shy at first around strangers, said his grandfather Tommy Foster. Once he gets used to his surroundings, the boy with a full head of blond hair is social and runs around just like any other young boy would.
“He’s just a 3-year-old,” said Foster, who lives in Richmond Hill.
But unlike most 3-year-olds, Logan was diagnosed with liver cancer in January and had to endure chemotherapy treatments and surgery this year. Foster said this week that his grandson is now cancer-free.
“It’s a miracle,” he said.
The Bryan County firefighters have been supportive of Logan since he was diagnosed with cancer almost a year ago, said Asa Clay, a captain in the South Bryan Fire Department. They honored Logan on Tuesday at the fire station in South Bryan and were to escort him on a fire truck with his brother, Bryce Duncan, and sister, Hayden Duncan, during the annual Christmas Parade in Richmond Hill today.
The firefighters honored Logan because they wanted to do something nice for the boy, Clay said.
“It’s just what we do,” he said.
Foster said Logan’s liver cancer was discovered in January after he complained about feeling sick.
“It’s like – bam,” Foster said. “Overnight your life has been changed.”
Logan, who turned 3 in October, went for chemotherapy treatments and care at the Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah. Foster said he felt lucky that his grandson was able to get treatment so close to home.
“The nurses there are fantastic,” he said.
In August, Logan had surgery to remove at least 25 percent of his liver and his gallbladder. Foster said Logan was in and out of the hospital after his surgery much faster than doctors predicted.
During Logan’s treatment, Foster said his family received lots of support from the community, including First Baptist Church in Richmond Hill, the Bryan County Fire Department and Energy Oasis Spa in Richmond Hill. Foster said he and his family are “very appreciative” of what the community has done for them.
Kathy Akerman, the owner of Energy Oasis Spa, said her business held fundraisers and paid for Logan’s childcare for several months. She said she is an advocate for cancer survivors and wanted to help the family. 
“My heart went out to them,” she said.
Logan goes for check ups every few weeks. But “as for as treatments, no, we don’t have to do anything like that no more, thank the Lord,” Foster said.
Though he is cancer-free, Logan is not yet considered cured.
“He’s not out of the woods yet,” Foster said.
Logan has to go for regular check ups for at least another year, and the cancer could come back up at any time, he said.
“We take it one day at a time and pray that it doesn’t come back on us,” Foster said.

 

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