Jones lives "Big Time"

By Bailee Gerdes

Big Time Rush’s hit song “Big Time” is not only one of Logan Jones’ favorite songs, but some might even argue an anthem to his way of life.

Jones is a dance-loving, karaoke-singing, fun-loving 22-year-old. Sounds like every guy you have met at your local karaoke night, right? What makes Jones’ any different from others you might ask? Jones’ was born with a chromosomal condition best known as Down syndrome. Down syndrome causes an extra copy of the 21 chromosomes to form. While this affects one in 700 children born, Jones’ mother was not expecting to face a life of helping her son face his disability-with those odds, nobody does, right?

Phyllis McCollum, Jones’ mother recalls the day he was born. McCollum had multiple ultrasounds done pre-natal and none showed Jones’ disability.

“I was in total shock to the point that I didn’t hear anything that the doctor said after he suspected Logan’s heart defects were due to Down syndrome,” McCollum said.

McCollum had not had much experience interacting with people with down syndrome before her son was born. Like any mother, she was worried for her son and fearful of the judgements people would place on him. McCollum said she grieved for the child she would never have and then never looked back.

“I decided God gave him to me to be his voice and his protector,” McCollum said.

From birth, Jones was a fighter and overcame many obstacles such: as playing on soccer team and basketball teams as well as competing in marching and concert band with his peers. While these were steppingstones in Jones’ life, it wasn’t until he transferred to Marceline High School, that he began taking large steps towards his future Greg Hough was the athletic director at Marceline High School when Jones transferred in 2017. Hough recalls Jones’ ISP meeting when McCollum shared a fear that all mothers have when their child starts a new school; the fear that Jones would be a new student who didn’t know anyone in a new school.

Jones became involved with the football team as the manager where he found his new friends who would evolve into a family. Hough said Jones’ struggle while being a part of the team was not having problems fitting in or making friends, but rather staying out of full football pads and remembering that he couldn’t play on the field.

“Logan made me realize the power and bonds formed in athletics and on teams. Logan brought our group together. We all loved Logan and each other,” Hough said. “I think Logan and I both needed each other in our lives when we met. We both needed Marceline and a Marceline football when we found it.”

Cullen Brunner was a sophomore on the football team when Jones joined the team. While Bruner remembers Jones as joining the team a quiet and standoff guy, he said Jones quickly warmed up to the guys. Brunner even recalls Jones asking his teachers to use the restroom and then sneaking away to visit the football players in their classes. Before the team knew it, Jones was accompanying them at team dinners, group outings and setting sitting with the guys at lunch. Jones even invited members of over for movie nights at his home.

“His smile can light up any room. Logan taught me that beat friends can come in any shape and size,” Bruner said.

In 2019 McCollum started thinking about how Jones would be cared for once she was unable to care for him herself. She wanted Jones’ siblings to be well equipped to care for him when the time came. McCollum started a MO ABLE savings account for Jones. In an attempt to build his assets in the account, Jones and his mother decided to establish a company that reflects Jones’ philosophy and faith. Thus, was born the company “Limitless by Logan.” Though his company Jones has created apparel and jewelry for those who wish to live limitless.

Jones work ethic did not end with his self-named company. In 2019, after his graduation from Marceline High School, McCollum knew her son wanted to go to college. After watching him struggle with the cruelty some of high school had to offer, she knew that couldn’t be an option. Rather, Jones entered the workforce. Jones returned to Northwestern R-1 High School, one of his previous high schools, to work in janitorial services. Jones has worked for the school since 2019 and loves his time spent interacting with the students and staff.

Bailee Gerdes isan Agriculture Media major at Northwest Missouri State University.

Logan Jones