Logan Knupp was born in March 1997 to Alan and Lisa Knupp. Eight months later, Lisa noticed her happy baby showing some odd behaviors. He had trouble sitting up. One of his eyes had turned inward. He was becoming wobbly and had bouts of projectile vomiting.
Lisa took Logan to the family pediatrician, who found nothing wrong but sent Logan on to a noted ophthalmologist to determine why his eye appeared to be turning inward. The ophthalmologist sent Logan for an MRI at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. The test revealed a malignant tumor the size of a ping-pong ball growing at the base of Logan’s brain.
The next day, Logan spent six long, agonizing hours in surgery as a medical team removed the tumor. In the operating room, doctors found the tumor laying on the base of the brain, and they successfully removed 98 percent of it.
Doctors ordered another MRI the following day. Alan and Lisa were waiting with Logan in the baby’s hospital room when the entire neurology team came in to break the news: Logan’s spinal cord was encased by a tumor that had wrapped itself around Logan’s spine like an ivy vine. The prognosis was absolutely stunning and tragic: Logan had a one in 10 chance of living to see his first birthday.
The medical team revealed there was nothing they could do. The tumor on Logan’s spine was inoperable. It appeared the only thing that could be done was for Alan and Lisa to make the most of whatever time Logan had left.
Alan and Lisa were told that with very aggressive chemotherapy, Logan’s life could possibly be prolonged. Because they wanted as much time with their son as possible, they agreed to extensive chemotherapy. Logan’s treatment would consist of chemotherapy for the next three years, provided Logan survived that long. It was decided chemotherapy would start on Sunday and go 24 hours a day for seven days. Logan would rest for a week, after which another round would begin.
The following month, a woman they knew as a prayer warrior came to see Logan’s family. Alan says, “She told us God had shown her Logan’s spine, and at the bottom of the spine was an ax, and the ax was lying down. The ax was a sign that God had cut away the tumor and had put down the ax to show His work was finished.”
It was a month after the initial diagnosis, during the second round of weeklong chemotherapy treatments, that the Knupps got some more shocking news. After another MRI, the radiologist entered Logan’s hospital room and told the family they could go home. Alan and Lisa were confused. They knew they had to stay the entire week for Logan’s chemotherapy treatment.
“What about the tumor?” they asked. “What tumor?” asked the radiologist. “Your son is fine.”
The Knupps were speechless.
The radiologist placed the MRIs side by side. The results of the new test revealed only a dark shadow at the bottom of the baby’s spine. The Knupps believed this shadow was the “ax of God,” laid down when Logan’s healing was accomplished.
These new scans set off a stir. A team of doctors evaluated the results. No one could explain how a tumor that was supposed to claim Logan’s life no longer existed. A doctor performed a spinal tap on Logan and reported no sign of any tumor, even at the cellular level. There was nothing on the baby’s spine, he said. The tumor was completely gone. Logan was cancer-free.
Today Logan is 15 years old and in the ninth grade. He enjoys playing hockey and basketball and going to youth group activities. His last MRI was in 2003. He has never had another tumor, and doctors say it is unlikely he ever will.
Alan and Lisa did not receive their miracle when they wanted it. They preferred to have it before the surgeons ever operated on Logan the first time. But our ways are not necessarily God’s ways, and our timing is often not synchronized with God’s time. But one thing is sure: If we can be patient, God will get to us in His time, and His timing is always perfect.
Don Nordin is pastor of CT Church Houston, a congregation with more than 2,000 people in weekly attendance. With a focus on training leaders, he travels extensively as a speaker in revivals, camp meetings and conferences. He lives with his wife in Houston, Texas. His book, The Audacity of Prayer, released Feb. 4.