At sixteen, life was good for Logan Olson. A young, beautiful high school student with lots of friends and a bright future in fashion to look forward to, Logan had it all.
Now 25, Logan is still a beautiful young woman who is creating amazing opportunities for herself as the editor and publisher of Logan, a magazine for young women with disabilities. Sounds almost like a fairytale, doesn’t it? While Logan’s story is far from over, a happy ending is a foregone conclusion. Still, her journey has been a testament of true grit.
Logan was born with congenital heart disease, and on Halloween 2001, she’d been walking through a haunted house with her dad and two brothers when she suffered a sudden heart attack and collapsed. She survived the heart attack, but fell into a coma that left her with a brain injury.
It took seven months of intense rehab and physical therapy for Logan to regain her speech and mobility with the help of a walker. In that time, her friends and life seemed to have moved on without her.
Feeling hopeless about reaching her long-time dream of working in the fashion industry, Logan fell into a depression. “I thought my life was over,” says Logan. “But my parents gave me the strength and encouragement I needed to get out of my mental funk and start to create my own opportunity. That’s how Logan magazine was born.”
Returning to high school, Logan took a mock fashion magazine she’d pieced together in her spare time. The mental leap from mock to actual magazine was huge, but critical, says Laurie Olson, Logan’s mom. “There’s a black hole for kids with disabilities after high school. I could see Logan slipping into that if we didn’t have a plan.”
The family’s work paid off. Logan Magazine debuted in November 2006. She has been nominated for a governor’s award, featured on Washington State Library posters, and honored with marketing awards. Schools and libraries also subscribe to the magazine, which attracts readers as far away as Peru and Switzerland.
We talked to Logan about the long-term affects of her brain injury, which include impairments to her balance, speech, and short term memory. Logan says she has learned much about the publishing industry and her devoted fans.
“Our readers have a desire to live life to the fullest, says Logan. “Like our mission, our readers want to look great while experiencing all life has to offer. It makes me proud to hear that my magazine makes teens with disabilities feel like they’re not alone.”
We asked Logan for her best piece of advice and inspiration for teens who are struggling with their disability. “I had to speak out with determination when sharing my goals for my life. People are busy, sometime’s too busy to listen. Be persistent! Keep sharing with others around you what your goals are. People want to help, they just need YOU to tell them how.”
Logan and her mom and partner, Laurie, have more to do and they’re determined to do it. “On our list of priorities is an entrepreneur camp for young people with disabilities. We’re calling it The Logan Project!” Stay tuned, and visit Logan Magazine at LoganMagazine.com.