Blood ties: Ky. basketball fan gets Wisconsin assist

Posted: April 2, 2015 at 2:44 am

Scott Logdon is a die-hard University of Kentucky basketball fan, but he can't deny he's got some Wisconsin blood in him -- literally.

When the father of four was being treated for high-risk leukemia at UK in 2013, 20-year-old University of Wisconsin student Chris Wirz anonymously donated bone marrow stem cells to him. The two men first spoke just after the Wildcats bested the Badgers during last year's NCAA Final Four, and basketball was a frequent topic of conversation as their friendship grew.

While each will be rooting for his own team during this Saturday's Final Four rematch, both say they have a soft spot for the other team.

"I've stayed true to UK," said Logdon, 44, of Salvisa, Ky. "But when I talked to Chris for the first time I told him, 'That's why I felt so bad when we beat you: I've got Badger blood in me!"'

Wirz, who lives three blocks from where the Badgers play, hopes Wisconsin wins this year, and has even predicted an upset in his basketball bracket. "Who doesn't want to root for the underdog?" he said.

But he plans to send a text of congratulations if Logdon's team wins -- since their connection is much deeper than basketball rivalry.

"We're literally working off the same immune system," said Wirz, now 22 and a University of Wisconsin senior. "This has been one of the most emotionally overwhelming experiences of my life, realizing how important he is to his family and his community and seeing the hole that would've been left by him."

A dire diagnosis

Logdon, chief deputy at Woodford County Detention Center in Versailles, Ky., and a youth minister in his church, recalled playing basketball with teenagers just a few nights before going to the doctor for what his wife, Angela, initially thought was strep.

But tests showed he had acute myeloid leukemia, a blood cancer estimated by the American Cancer Society to have stricken 18,860 Americans last year and killed about 10,460, mostly adults.

Blood ties: Ky. basketball fan gets Wisconsin assist

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