Local boy has Disney wish granted

Not many people can say they have met a talking car, but Logan Treder, 5, has.

Logan met Lightning McQueen, star of the Disney movie "Cars" at Hollywood Studios this December through Kids Wish Network.

The program offers "dream" trips and experiences to children and families dealing with life-threatening medical conditions or traumatic situations.

Logan, whose family recently moved from North St. Paul to Oakdale, certainly qualifies.

A frightening diagnosis

At 22 months old, when Logan began tripping while walking, his mother, Tami Treder, knew something was wrong.

"When he was little, he didn't crawl on his hands and feet; it was more of an 'Army crawl.' His (older) brother did the same thing, so we weren't too concerned. As he got older, he still carried his arm up high, and when he started tripping when he walked we took him to a doctor," Treder said.

An MRI revealed Logan had a tumor in his spinal cord. A biopsy showed the tumor was mixed with normal tissue, eliminating the option of removing it surgically. Logan began chemotherapy immediately after the biopsy.

Keeping an energetic young child relatively still for the treatments was one of Mom's biggest challenges.

"When he started chemo, I had just gotten an iPhone for my birthday and that kept him distracted. They hooked him up to the slow-drip machine and we watched movies or walked around the hallways. As he got older, it was harder," Treder said.

After 15 months of treatment, the tumor shrank from 14 to ten millimeters and remains stable.

"Now, we're just doing check-ins every six months. The tumor isn't growing. But there's a 50-50 chance in the next five years that it will come back," Treder explained.

While chemotherapy is not an easy for anyone to endure, Logan has remained strong. "He's tough and resilient. He was really strong," Treder said.

Treder's three other children, though they are older than Logan and have more of an understanding how serious the situation is, have also stayed positive through his ordeal. "At first, they were upset, but it got better as they watched him be strong. I think it helped that he didn't lose his hair," Treder said.

A wish granted

Thanks to organizations like Kids Wish Network, children that suffer from life-threatening illnesses like Logan have the chance to have their wishes fulfilled.

The Treders connected with Kids Wish Network through a stroke of luck. "We got a random call out of the blue! One of my friends had gotten a call as a fundraiser from Kids Wish Network and Logan came to mind for her," Treder said.

Through Kids Wish Network, the Treders went on an all-expense paid trip to Disney World last month.

"We are proud that we are able to create magical memories for these special children and their families every day," Kids Wish Network executive director Anna Lanzatella said. "These wishes not only bring them joy and many memories, but also hope for a happier, healthier future."

"We had wanted to take our kids to Disney anyway, but it wasn't really possible for us. The first thing we did when we got there was drive to the beach. The kids had never seen the ocean and we spent the afternoon jumping in the waves and collecting shells," Treder said.

In Florida, the Treders visited Disney's Magic Kingdom, Universal Studios and Disney's Hollywood Studios, where Logan met his hero, Lightning McQueen.

"That was really the best day for him. The big kids really liked Universal Studios with the roller coasters and my seven-year-old daughter liked the Magic Kingdom because of the princesses," Treder said.

"We had a really good time," Treder said. "It was just good family time together to leave home behind us, even for a little while. It was irreplaceable to me to watch the kids' faces light up with excitement at every turn."

For more information about Kids Wish Network, visit kidswishnetwork.org.

Johanna Holub can be reached at jholub@lillienews.com or 651-748-7825.

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