Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Dying boy his parents' best man

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JEANNETTE, Pa. -- A two-year-old boy with only weeks to live will serve as best man when his parents wed this weekend.

Sean Stevenson and Christine Swidorsky had planned to wed next year but decided to move the ceremony up to today so their son, Logan, who has leukemia and other complications, could participate.

"We want Logan in our family pictures, and we want him to see his mother and dad get married," Swidorsky said. Her 13-year-old daughter from a previous relationship, Isabella Johns, will be a bridesmaid, and the couple's one-year-old daughter, Savannah, will be the flower girl. The story was first reported by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Logan has Fanconi anemia, a rare disease that often causes cancer. He was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia at 14 months old and had a stem-cell transplant a year ago. He lost one kidney to a tumour in March and now has a mass on his other kidney.

Last week, doctors told the couple the boy would live only two to three weeks more. "It'll be the hardest thing I'll ever do, is bury my son," Stevenson said. "You know it's coming, and you can't do anything about it."

Family and friends have pitched in to organize the wedding, while Logan spends his last few days resting in his parents' home.

Swidorsky said the couple expects about 100 people to attend the wedding.

"The best thing for Logan is to be home with his parents," she said, adding doctors told the couple "he would be in more pain in the hospital."

"I just am thankful that I am able to bring my son home and have time with him and hold him before he goes," Stevenson said. "So, in that sense, I feel lucky that I at least get to say goodbye to my son... and tell him it's going to be OK."

Swidorsky said she has learned a lot from Logan.

"He's made me a better person," she said. "He's just an angel from heaven, and I'm going to miss him."

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 3, 2013 A23

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