Jacob Logan was sitting at his house in Deer Park, Texas, spending some quality time playing video games with his brother in December.
It had all the makings of a perfect semester break – family time, relaxation and a chance to regroup before returning to Northwestern State for a six-game spring football season that marked his first in a Demon uniform. Then the phone rang, and Logan’s world changed.
As Northwestern State prepares for Saturday’s #ForkCancer game against Incarnate Word, Logan will do so with a different perspective that began with his teary-eyed mother, Karen, telling him and his brother she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
“I hadn’t seen her all day and saw she was tearing up,” said Logan, a senior tight end who transferred from McNeese ahead of the 2019-20 academic year. “I asked what was wrong. Usually, she keeps things from me especially major things that would hinder me from school and football. Whenever she came inside and sat us down and broke everything down, it was very emotional for me. It put everything in perspective for me. I hit a block for a second. I had to sit down and really go over everything in my mind and keep to myself for a while.
“It hurt my mental health for a while, and to be honest, I’m still trying to shake back from that.”
Logan played in all six games in the spring season and has appeared in the first three games this fall for the Demons. A versatile tight end who can split out wide, Logan has caught five passes through three games of the fall season.
Watch Logan – a long-haired, tattooed 6-foot-3, 245-pounder – play and an observer will see a fiery individual who is not afraid to mix it up with opposing defenders and speak his mind. That on-field demeanor, Logan says, has been shaped by what his mother and father have gone through medically well before Karen Logan’s breast cancer diagnosis in December.
“For the most part, my emotions on the field come from stuff that has happened to me off the field — whether it’s my mom being diagnosed with cancer or my dad having Parkinson’s disease or my mom having Stage 3 kidney failure,” Logan said. “That all comes into play. The only way I can let it out safely is on the field.”
Speaking about his mother’s battle with both kidney disease and breast cancer, Logan displays the side most often seen by his family and his girlfriend – the part he calls “very calm and very chill.”
That is the side most of his NSU teammates see on a daily basis with the exception of their time between the sidelines.
“Sometimes we don’t realize what’s going on off the field and what some individuals have to deal with,” fourth-year NSU head coach Brad Laird said. “Some they speak about, some are not spoken about. It’s a credit to him and what he’s been able to do as he’s gone through these tough times with his mother. He’s one when he steps between the white lines, he takes care of his business. You appreciate what those guys are going through to be able to combine not only what he’s doing on the field and what he’s dealing with off the field.”
Logan said he draws inspiration from his parents’ battles with their health.
“Every day I see my mom wake up and see her do things I don’t know if I could do in a day,” he said. “There was one point where she worked two jobs and was battling kidney failure when I was in high school. She comes home and takes care of my dad, who has Parkinson’s disease and gets into bed at night to plug into her dialysis machine so she doesn’t miss that, which is critical to her health. She does so much every day for me and my family, and I hope one day I can give back to her as much as she’s given me.”
Northwestern State fans can give back to those like Karen Logan throughout this week by texting “FORKCANCER” to 71777 and making a donation to the American Cancer Society. Additionally, Demon fans will have the opportunity to pick up and wear a purple ribbon Saturday, honoring cancer survivors.
As of 7 p.m. May 18, 2021, those who follow Jacob Logan’s Twitter account (@flyinhiwian_15) learned Karen Logan had joined that list of people who have survived cancer.
“I was sitting at my house, and my girlfriend was on the way from Natchitoches to Houston to come see me,” Jacob Logan said. “My mom called me, and she was crying again. I was like, ‘Man, this can’t be good.’ I thought, here we go again. She sent me the picture (of her ringing the cancer bell at the hospital), and I immediately posted it on Twitter. I wanted to let friends and family and everyone who knew – and everyone who didn’t know – what was going on and what just happened. It was one of the happiest days of my life.”
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