Two years ago, 19 yr. old Logan was on top of his game. A high school athlete with college basketball scholarship opportunities, he was in excellent health. His only real complaint had been a history of near daily headaches which his doctors had put down to eye strain. They had been getting worse and no amount of Tylenol or Advil would help. On March 6, 2016 he was driving to the gym and talking to his friends on the phone (hands free) when he had a seizure. He drove half a mile unconscious before his car left the road and ended up stopped in a ditch.
He was lucky. He did not crash and the friends on the phone knew something was wrong and called an ambulance. The ambulance crew had to break his window to get him out and when Logan woke up in hospital a few hrs later he was surprised to find they had ordered an MRI for the next day. The news was concerning. They told him that he had a mass in his brain. “I didn't know what a brain mass really meant so I really wasn't worried about it”. It did not take long to confirm a tumour and Logan had surgery within a few days. The surgeon said that the operation had been successful and that they had removed the entire tumour. Logan was relived and thought “OK cool it's gone, time to move on”. Two weeks later Logan got the news that the tumor had been a stage four glioblastoma. The doctor told him about the poor outcomes, told him to live life to the fullest while he could and that they were sorry there was nothing more they could do.
Logan was not used to being defeated. As an athlete he had a trained tenacity that would not let him accept an early death as his fate. “I just totally washed that out. I said no that's not going to happen, it's not going to go that way.”
A close friend involved in the bodybuilding community first mentioned the ketogenic diet to him. He began to research and so did his parents. It wasn’t long before he was on you tube looking up Dr. Volek and Dr. Phinney to learn about ketosis and other Glioblastoma survivors who were following a ketogenic diet to get support and direction. He read the testimonials and researched the science and one month after his surgery he started on the diet. Logan pointed out “I have always been a freak about what goes into my body, so sticking to ketogenic macros was no problem”. He still admits “the first few weeks were a learning process. I ate approximately 75% fat, 20 % protein and 5% carbs. I wasn't getting enough veggies to start with but now I get a few more. I typically eat approx. 170 g of fat, 110-120 g of protein and 25 g or less of total carbs.” Logan uses My Fitness Pal to track his food intake and macros. In the last year Logan has concentrated on getting the nutritional value of his food to be the best that it can be. “No more McDonalds for me” he laughs, “only grass fed beef for the better omega fatty acid profile and I’m dairy free”.
I asked Logan how his headaches were. “No headaches. I had headaches every day for over half a decade and I have no headaches anymore. And no side effects from the chemotherapy either. I was told to expect all kinds of nasty side effects from chemotherapy but I have really had none. My energy is really good”. Logan recounts to me the days when he was a high caloric intake, high carb athlete and how his energy would be “up and down and all around” and how he would feel “hungry all the time”. “Now I don’t get hungry, I don't get fatigued, I don't have any fogginess. It’s ironic but it's the best I have felt in a long time.
”I asked Logan how his doctor felt about him eating a ketogenic diet. “My oncologist in Austin, Dr. Conrad, was amazing. At my first visit he said ‘Logan make sure to have some turmeric tea every day, and try to cut back on your carbohydrate intake.’He was a really big keto believer. Three days after that advice he died in an accident.” Logan was transferred to a different oncologist who had never heard of a ketogenic diet.
Logan offers this advice to those newly diagnosed with his type of tumor. “Take a step back and realize that answers are everywhere. Get opinions from at least 2 oncologists and talk to other survivors.Make a decision to move forward with your life and conquer this”.
His Keto shout out goes first to his parents who have both been really supportive, and then to his friend Chad who first put him on the road to Keto and last but not least, Greg a fellow Glioblastoma survivor, who also followed a ketogenic diet, and who has been a great friend and support through this tough two years. Logan continues to do well. He seems to have boundless energy which has helped him to launch his own fitness coaching business, fusionlean.com. Most importantly his MRI scans, which he has every two months, are clean. Logan is an extraordinary young man with a contagiously positive attitude. I think in part he gets that attitude from his dad who told him the day he was diagnosed “Logan you are going to be part of the 2% who beat this.”
I choose to believe he will be.
Logan's favourite web resources are ketogenic.com and Ruled.me
Favourite Keto meal is: “I have so many answers to that but if you make me choose I’ll say: egg bacon spinach and broccoli combined with salt and pepper.”