Zionsville mother loses second child to cancer

Eileen McGovern with her son, Logan, who died of a rare cancer.
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A local mother has a plea for other parents tonight after losing her second child to cancer.

One of the last conversations Logan McGovern had was with former Indianapolis Colts center Jeff Saturday, who called Logan in his room at Riley Hospital for Children.

"Has it been a good day or a bad day?" Saturday asked.

"It has been half-and-half. A little bit of good and little bit of bad," Logan replied.

Two days later, McGovern passed away. A rare cancer, Rhabdomyosarcoma, had attacked his body. His mother, Eileen McGovern, said her son was never afraid and became a symbol of strength for her and others.

"He was strong the entire time. Seriously, through the whole thing he gave me strength. I was, like, 'Wow.' He was, like, 'It's okay.' He was in a lot of pain," she said.

McGovern has lost both of her children to cancer. Her daughter Neka was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of six. Doctors had been treating her for a respiratory infection, but McGovern knew something else was wrong.

"I refused to say it was okay. I was, like, 'No, I know she is not okay'," she said.

Call it a mother's intuition - her gut feeling - she knew better and this what McGovern wants other parents to know: Don't take no for an answer and listen to your gut feeling. Be persistent.

"I said, 'I need her to be checked. There is something else wrong with her'," McGovern said.

She took Neka to another hospital. Her fever was not going down and the news wasn't good.

"That is when they told me she had leukemia," said McGovern.

Neka died two weeks later. Fourteen years later, Logan developed a horrible pain in his back. McGovern took her son to a chiropractor, but the pain worsened his doctors ordered CAT scans and x-rays.

"He was in so much pain, he was going through the roof screaming, he was in so much pain. So we got there and that is when she said there was a tumor," McGovern said.

Eileen and Logan McGovern had no idea how much time they would have together. Eileen was not going to miss a minute with her son. To better care for him, her employer allowed her to work from home, at least for awhile.

She was let go last September and others stepped in to help.

"Had the whole community backing me up. The school, the Zionsville community, the church, lots of friends, football, the whole entire football team all of their parents. Everyone has backed me up and supported me completely," she said.

Logan was laid to rest close by his sister this weekend.

There is a fundraiser for the McGovern family this Friday night at the Zionsville Middle School where Logan attended school. Donations go to the Logan McGovern Relief Fund or the Riley Hospital Oncology/Hematology Department.