SHERIDAN — The Gellert family is a sports family. Each of the four kids are heavily involved in sports – baseball and softball being their main focus. They give it their all, including when the oldest, Logan, was diagnosed with cancer.
“You don't think that you will be the family with cancer, until you are,” Logan’s mom, Jessica Gellert said.
In 2020, the travel baseball player was diagnosed with a rare form involving soft tissue called Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma (al-vee-lr rab-duh-mai-ow-saar-kow-muh). For two years, on and off, he underwent chemo and surgery.
“He went on hospice care the weekend after Christmas, and on January 8 of ’22, he passed,” Gellert said.
Logan was just 13-years-old. Eight months later, his backpack and baseball bag remain by the door of the Gellert’s Sheridan home.
“Logan didn't love to talk about it. You know, it was a part of his life that that took away from everything else,” Gellert said. “But on the same note. He didn't want anybody else to suffer.”
This year, more than 10,000 kids in the U.S. under 15 will be diagnosed with cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. The organization adds pediatric cancer rates are rising.
It is a path Jessica Gellert said she hopes no one else has to walk.
“If we stop talking about it and pretend it doesn’t exist, then nothing changes,” Gellert said.
A month after Logan’s passing, the mom of four started “Ready Set Listen” — an initiative to bring awareness to pediatric cancer.
“Our goal is to get this out to as many people as we can, so they can see you know what it is for one and two, hopefully, more people to get involved,” Gellert said.
In a series of videos, “Ready Set Listen” focuses on topics including diagnosis, treatment and research. Every Friday this Pediatric Cancer Awareness month, a video will drop. There will also be a series on mental health.
“Childhood cancer is awful, but there’s a community within it,” Gellert said.
Four other families are involved in the project. Three, including the Gellert family and the family of Tyler Trent, lost a child to cancer. Another is currently going through it, while the last is in remission. After the videos drop on social media, the plan is to start a podcast through “Ready Set Listen.”
Geller vows to continue building support within that community. “Ready Set Listen” is just the start.
“It's heavy. It's really heavy. But the importance behind it is so big and overpowering. And I know that at the end of the day Logan will be proud of it,” Gellert said.
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