The strength of cancer survivors is inspirational, and this one is no exception. When a young man had his leg amputated to save his life, he looked for someone who could relate to his disability. Eventually, his search came to an end when he found a kindred spirit called Logan.
The boy in question was Quinn Scharn from Napa, California. And it wasn’t the first time he had been diagnosed with cancer, either. In fact, his first battle with the illness had been fought when he was just an infant.
“He had two different kinds of cancers,” Scharn’s mother, Teresa Howell, told WLTX in March 2017. “He was first diagnosed as a baby. He went through a year of chemo [and had] many operations.” But even at such a young age, Scharn was a fighter.
And despite being in such a vulnerable condition, the little boy eventually pulled through. Two years ago, however, a visit to the doctor following knee complaints revealed some bad news. “My [right knee] didn’t feel very good,” Scharn recalled. “I went to the doctor and they took a biopsy.”
The biopsy identified the problem and it wasn’t good news. Scharn’s pain was caused by a form of bone cancer called osteosarcoma and it was aggressively attacking his leg. In order to give the ten-year-old the best possible chance of survival, he needed surgery.
“After [a few months], they amputated my leg,” he revealed in a Facebook video in March 2017. He had just lost a limb, but Scharn still had plenty of determination. And there was one thing he craved more than ever after the surgery.
“I wanted a dog with three legs,” Scharn said. “It was the first thing I said when I woke up from the anaesthesia.” Because of this, the young man even received a visit from a service dog while he was recovering in hospital.
Although he had made his mind up about finding a three-legged friend, the search didn’t start straight away. In fact, over the following year, Scharn was still having his health closely monitored. Needless to say, it was a tough time for the whole family.
“[That] whole year, we [were just] holding our breath,” Howell told SFGate. “[It was] a time of uncertainty, and not being able to celebrate being cancer-free [was] really hard on [Scharn] emotionally.” But as a new year arrived, it brought some good news with it.
Indeed, Scharn was given the all-clear in January of 2016, after which he could finally look to the future. Furthermore, it meant the little fighter could devote himself fully to his search for a canine companion. However, that also proved to be a waiting game.
In fact, despite monitoring rescue sites, it wasn’t until the following year that he found the perfect companion. Howell first noticed a plucky puppy called Logan on the Facebook page of a Sacramento-based animal shelter. Front Street Animal Shelter, to be exact.
“I saw the video of Logan on the shelter’s page,” Howell said. “The next day I picked Scharn up early from school and drove to Sacramento as fast as possible.” When they got there, though, they were met with disappointment: Logan had been reserved by another interested party.
Nevertheless, Scharn seemingly had his heart set on Logan and wanted to meet him. “We went to see [Logan] in the kennel, and [it] was pretty emotional,” Howell recalled. The meeting had only increased the family’s interest in Logan, so they asked how long his reservation would stand for.
“They said, ‘The family just called and [aren’t] interested anymore,’” Howell recounted. That was all the encouragement she and her son needed, and they immediately snatched Logan up for themselves. On March 2, 2017, Scharn’s dream of finding a three-legged playmate finally came true.
The shelter believed that Logan’s missing leg was probably the result of a traffic accident. And although it has only been a short time since the dog joined the family, Scharn said the connection was instant. “[Logan] just fits right in,” he told WLTX.
Logan and Scharn may have lost a physical part of themselves, but it led them to each other. What’s more, they have already started to heal each other’s emotional scars. “[Quinn] was so tough going through treatment, and a lot of it was a front,” Howell said.
“Seeing him with Logan, I can just tell all the other stuff is melting away,” she added. Logan and Scharn’s story hasn’t just touched the hearts of their family, though. Indeed, people all over the world have been moved by their tale, with Scharn’s Facebook video already receiving more than one million views.
Some people connected with the video on a deeply personal level. “Being the mom of a childhood cancer survivor, this touched my heart,” one Facebook user commented. “You are so lucky to have each other,” wrote another. “Dogs make everyone’s lives better and full of love.”
Others admired how strong Scharn had been. “God bless you both, you’re beautiful souls and inspirational,” one supporter added. And after everything the family had been through, no doubt the support was appreciated. Thankfully, it seems that those dark times are behind them now.
“The things kids go through in treatment… it’s very hard to watch,” Howell recalled, struggling to hold back her tears. “Especially if it’s your child and for anyone who knows Quinn. He’s pretty inspiring.” Indeed he is.