Dying Jeannette boy serves as parents' best man
By Renatta Signorini
Published: Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013, 3:33 p.m.
Christine Swidorsky walked slowly toward her bridegroom, carrying the couple's precious best man.
She struggled to hold back tears as she held 2-year-old Logan, his medical equipment and a bouquet of orange and yellow flowers.
She and Sean Stevenson shared an emotional moment at the altar with their terminally ill son before their hastily planned wedding in the backyard of their Jeannette home.
“It's just going to be one of those things that you remember all your life,” Stevenson said afterward. “It means the world to me. We're just blessed every day that he's here with us.”
Logan watched his parents marry in a bittersweet 12-minute ceremony as his tearful grandmother, Debbie Stevenson, held him.
Logan wore a tan, pin-striped suit and an orange shirt as he clutched his favorite stuffed rabbit, “Bun Bun.”
On July 26, doctors told his parents that Logan has a few weeks to live.
The couple abandoned their original plan to marry in July 2014.
Their impromptu planning turned into a whirlwind of donations and condolences from around the world as a result of an article in Wednesday's Tribune-Review.
“It's been exciting. It's been fun,” said Christine Swidorsky Stevenson after the ceremony.
The family used the nuptials to celebrate Logan's life. He has acute myeloid leukemia and has endured a stem cell transplant and the loss of a kidney.
He has Fanconi anemia, a rare disease that often leads to cancer. A test last month revealed a cancerous mass on his remaining kidney.
Many of the 120 guests at the wedding wiped tears and smiled sadly as the boy shared a dance with his mother. Stevenson swayed slowly and stroked Logan's head while singing along to Jason Mraz's “I Won't Give Up.”
“She's so strong and so good with her kids,” said Kellie Young, Logan's aunt. “They're a very blessed couple despite the situation.”
Swidorsky's daughter, Isabella Johns, 13, served as bridesmaid. The couple's 1-year-old daughter, Savannah, was the flower girl.
There were so many offers of donations, the family had to turn some away.
“It is beyond anything we could've imagined,” Young said.
There was donated food and donated orange and gold decorations beneath a donated tent. Homemade cookies and cakes were dropped off at the family's home while more donated refreshments and portable toilets were delivered. Photographers snapped pictures at no charge while donated wine was poured.
Videographer Steve Arch, who contributed his services, plans to put together a DVD. “I'm honored, I'm humbled to be here,” Arch said.
Pastor Janice Zotter officiated at the ceremony that included a special prayer for Logan. She baptized him while he was a patient in Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and agreed to marry the couple.
“I think my faith in humanity's a little bit restored,” said Zotter, an Allison Park minister and family friend.
Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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