After illness, friends, family throw special prom for Hanover High student

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
Logan Scheivert, 18, and his girlfriend Samantha Storm, 19, share the dance floor alone during Sheivert's own prom, Sunday, May 27, 2018. John A. Pavoncello photo

A Hanover High School student battling leukemia may have missed his senior prom, but his family, classmates and teachers weren't going to let him miss out on the experience.

Logan Scheivert, 18, of Hanover, missed the school's May 4 senior prom after being admitted to Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital the night before. 

Scheivert was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow that affects white blood cells, in April 2017. After missing the majority of the school year, his cancer was in remission as of March, and he returned to school.

Less than 24 hours before the high school's prom, however, he was hospitalized for pneumonia. This time, the sickness didn't keep him immobilized for long.

Earlier this week, Scheivert's band won the school's talent show and performed an encore. The day after, he attended the school's senior trip to Baltimore's Inner Harbor.

Finally, on Sunday, May 27, he arrived at Hanover's Magic Elm Skateland in a limousine.

Along with his best friends and family, he was greeted by more than 50 classmates and a handful of teachers and family members. This prom, unlike others, was all for him.

The private prom touted a theme of horror and was titled "A Night to Dismember." Sporting a bright orange tuxedo inspired by the 1994 film "Dumb and Dumber," Scheivert was able to experience prom on his own terms — horror film memorabilia, metal music and all.

The support was "mind-blowing" and helped alleviate some of the trauma that comes along with cancer, he said.

"I didn't think that this many people would come or that it'd be this big," Scheivert added. "I'm very grateful that they did this for me."

Nash Miller, 17, Scheivert's band mate and best friend since elementary school, didn't attend the high school prom earlier this month either, because he had a similar "Dumb and Dumber" themed tuxedo and it "wouldn't be the same" without his friend.

Logan Scheivert, 18, left, and his best friend Nash Miller, 17, dressed as characters from the movie "Dumb and Dumber" pose for a photo during a private prom for  the Hanover High School senior who missed prom this year due to complications with leukemia, Sunday, May 27, 2018. John A. Pavoncello photo

The experience has been difficult for him, Miller said. It was also difficult not to spoil any details about the event.

"It was hard not to talk to him about it," Miller said. "There were times when I'd start to bring it up and have to hold back."

Miller still found humor in a situation that has taken an emotional toll on many.

"He's dumb, I'm dumber," he said. "He gets better grades than me."

Despite the struggle leading up the big night and the need to keep details secret, Kristin Scheivert, Logan's mother, said the turnout was "beyond my expectations."

"The support is amazing," she said. "His classmates have been behind him the whole time. His friends have just been so great."

Friends, family and the Hanover community are to thank, she added. More than $800 was raised in the first week after her son was hospitalized.

Local businesses also contributed money and food to the prom, including the local Subway and Domino's Pizza.The limousine was rented free of charge from Your Special Occasion Limousine in Hanover.

"I just want to thank everybody for the donations and the help," Kristin Scheivert said, holding back tears. "Thank you to my family, our friends and the community. I love you all."

The community, teachers included, share the affection.

"He's an awesome kid, and everyone gets along with him," said Kate Walton, an English teacher at Hanover High School. "Everyone loves being around him. It's really cool to have students from different groups come together just for him."

One woman in particular gets along with Logan Scheivert best — Samantha Storm, his 19-year-old girlfriend of two years. Although music was blasting, the dance floor was quiet until they were able to share the spotlight in a long-awaited slow dance.

Logan Scheivert, 18, and his girlfriend Samantha Storm, 19, dance with friends during Sheivert's own prom, Sunday, May 27, 2018. John A. Pavoncello photo

Afterward, she expressed her gratitude.

"It's really amazing, and it means a lot for both of us," Storm said. "For him to be happy with this is what's important. It was so worth seeing his face light up."

Kathy Wolfe, Scheivert's grandmother, emphasized the one lesson she's taken away from the experience over the past year.

"He made it through flu season, so we thought everything was going to be smooth," she said. "He went back to the hospital, but he's here now. Going through what he does is really hard, but he's a fighter. Life should never be taken for granted."