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Shaving for Logan's Locks: Friends show support in battle with cancer

Press Photo by Bryan Horwath Dickinson High School freshman Logan Kostelecky, who was recently diagnosed with cancer, receives a buzz cut from Euphoria Salon & Spa owner Candace Smith on Monday night at DHS.

Dickinson High School freshman Logan Kostelecky figured some of his friends and a few others would show up to a head-shaving event in support of his battle with cancer Monday night.

What the 15-year-old witnessed after people began arriving was something he and his family are not likely to forget as close to 75 people packed into the DHS commons area. Some continued to trickle in more than 30 minutes after the event was slated to begin.

"I can't describe it in words," said Logan said. "It's just unbelievable -- all these people coming together. I was expecting my buddies and a couple other people, maybe 10 or 15. I just can't believe this."

Brenda Kostelecky said her son began complaining of back pain in early April. After ruling out a number of other causes for the discomfort, an ultrasound a few weeks later showed a tumor in Logan's liver. Soon after, Logan was admitted to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

"They told us that he had germ cell tumor cancer," Brenda said. "They told us that it was a form of cancer that is highly treatable. I didn't even ask what the percentages were -- mom doesn't want to know."

For now, Logan travels to Bismarck on Tuesdays for chemotherapy and is scheduled to return to Mayo this summer.

Though it wasn't guaranteed that Logan would be able to attend Monday's event, dubbed "Logan's Locks," come time, he was there, laughing, joking and in good spirits --something not at all out of the ordinary, his grandmother said.

"It's been very hard for Logan and very hard on me and all of us," Sharon Kvalheim of Dickinson said. "Logan is such a positive, upbeat guy. I believe with all my heart that he will fight to the very end. He's an amazing grandson."

Kvalheim said Logan was struggling with the idea that so many people were supporting him, both emotionally and financially.

"This just means the world to him," Kvalheim said. "He doesn't like all the attention. I know he's not comfortable with a lot of it. I think being in Rochester really opened his eyes, too. He talked about other kids there that were worse off than him."

For a $10 donation, visitors to the event received the services of one of several designated stylists, including Euphoria Salon & Spa owner Candice Smith.

"I'm a family friend, so I wanted to do something to help out," Smith said. "My father died of cancer when I was 20, so it hits close to home for me. It's really nice to see so many people come out to support Logan."

Young and old, male and female lined up to get a new styling, including Logan's ninth-grade classmate Ashtyn Dooley, who had her long hair chopped off and her head completely shaved. Others girls elected to have Logan's initials shaved into their existing hairstyle.

"I just wanted to do something to support Logan," Ashtyn said before lifting a mirror to check out her new look. "It feels a lot lighter. It was something that I felt was important. I'm glad I did it."

Those wishing to donate to Logan Kostelecky's cause can send a contribution to Logan Kostelecky at P.O. Box 1175, Dickinson, N.D., 58602. A fund has also been set up at American Bank Center and another fundraiser is scheduled for June 1 at CherryBerry in Dickinson.

Bryan Horwath
A Wisconsin native, Horwath has been covering news in the Oil Patch of North Dakota since 2012. Horwath currently serves as the senior agriculture and political reporter for The Dickinson Press and, despite the team's tendency to always let him down, remains a diehard Minnesota Vikings fan.
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