Former Gate City QB, Scott County administrator battling rare cancer

Nick Shepherd • Updated Aug 23, 2017 at 7:53 AM

GATE CITY — It has been a lifelong struggle with illness for former Scott County Administrator and Gate City High School star quarterback Pat Loggans. Now, he may be facing his toughest battle yet.

Back in July, Loggans knew something was wrong. He had no energy and had been sick for a few months. A blood test showed high protein levels and his blood plasma cells were abnormal. His doctor ordered a biopsy, and that was when he and his family found out was wrong.

He had multiple myeloma, a rare type of bone cancer. There are fewer than 200,000 cases in the United States every year.

"To be real honest, I wasn't surprised," he said. "I felt like something was wrong. ... When they did the bone marrow biopsy, within 24 hours they called and said we need to see you right away. I knew what that phone call meant. ... We're not down or distressed about it. Just another battle we'll have to fight."

Treatment for the disease will be chemotherapy and a possible bone marrow transplant using Loggans' own marrow. He will have to visit Duke University Hospital once a month. If he needs the bone marrow transplant, it will take place at Duke.

The diagnosis means another health fight for Loggans. After winning the first state championship for GCHS on a Friday night in 1970, he was diagnosed with Ulcerative colitis the following Monday. He would fight that disease for the next four years and it would force him to quit college.

During that fight, which took a full 10 years for Loggans to recover, he married his high school sweetheart Lisa Quillen. He and Lisa had two children, and Loggans set about with the rest of his life.

Illness would return to his life in his 40s. While working as the Scott County administrator, he suffered two heart attacks in the span of 24 days.

"I loved my job, but it turned out I had to retire because of the stress," he said. "It was either retire or die. It was very tough."

Then in 2007, Loggans was diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis, which usually strikes heavy drinkers, though Loggans said he did not drink much during his life. He said the disease is very debilitating for him.

Even through all the illness, Loggans has never lost his zeal for life. He has been able to travel with his family, volunteered as the GCHS athletic trainer, is active in his church and is an avid guitar player. He said he started playing the guitar when he was 13 but did not take it seriously until 1996, when he saw the Eagles perform live in Knoxville.

He told Lisa that in a year, she would come in and he would play “Hotel California” for her on the guitar. And nearly a year to the day, he did. Now Lisa has to bring him his guitar whenever he is in the hospital. He plays in his church’s band and plays with a few individuals around the area. He called it a great stress relief. 

Loggans said the new diagnosis has really put things in perspective for him. He said things he used to believe were important are not so important anymore. He said the cancer was a new ballgame for him and his family.

The treatment for multiple myelmoa will be costly. So to help with the expense, Loggan's niece and daughter set up a GoFundMe page for him. They set a goal to raise $15,000 and have raised more than $3,000 so far. To donate to Loggans and his family, please visit https://www.gofundme.com/lets-help-pat-loggans.

He attributes his attitude about the diagnosis to the way he was raised, his participation in sports and his faith.

"The Lord's been good to me," he said. "I've tried very hard to be good to Him. You can never repay the gifts you've been given. That's just a part of life."