…110 Days Until Race Day
Today was about Jordan.
I did NOT want to run today. The only thing I wanted to do less than run today though was let Jordan down.
So, I laced up the shoes and got outside. And wow, am I GLAD I ran.
I met a new friend while running (Derek Cooper) and I was able to tell him all about why I was running today, Jordan.
Jordan was diagnosed in 2006, at age 5 with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML). Then, there was only a 22% survival rate.
After diagnosis and through treatment, Jordan’s life was basically one of isolation. She spent 5 months (continuous from July until December 2006) in-patient on the 9th floor of TCH upon diagnosis. She had 5 rounds of very intense chemotherapy (ALL inpatient).
After relapse in April 2007, she spent approximately 2 months in-patient on the BMT floor in preparation for her Bone Marrow Transplant on September 21, 2007. Then, she had 100 days post BMT monitoring after the transplant.
09/21/2007 is “celebration” date because it’s the date Jordan got her 3rd chance at life! A third chance to ride a bike. A third chance to go to school. A third chance to… sing! A third chance to march on the field. A third chance for young love. A third chance to see her 16th birthday….to drive!!! She was given a third chance to LIVE.
Jordan says, “…even after I went into remission, I had many struggles. All I wanted to do was be normal. However, this seemed virtually impossible. I wasn’t really allowed to be around a bunch of people, and if I was, I had to wear a big bulky mask. There were countless times when I was mistaken for a little boy. But, one of the biggest heartbreaks for me at the time was finding out I couldn’t ice skate anymore. Imagine, your passion being ripped away from you because your life depended on it. The years were difficult as I faced many new challenges such as bullies and trying to make new friends. I often had been made fun of for the scars on my arms from the PICC lines (which I now show off).
Currently I’m a sophomore in high school. I’m in marching band and also in the varsity choir. I just celebrated my one year anniversary with my boyfriend and I’ve made many new friends, including a boy from my 6th grade math class who had been diagnosed with osteosarcoma. I have a good connection with him. It reminds me that I’m not alone in this. Somebody else in my realm knows what I had to (and still do) go through.
From Jordan’s StepMom, Lynn: “I remember the exact moment that we were told that Jordan had cancer. It was like the world closed up around us, and nothing has ever been the same since…By the grace of God, Jordan is alive today. However, nothing will ever be the same. Every unexplained pain, fever, twinge, every everything causes our inner alarms to ding so loudly it hurts our ears. “NED” – No Evidence of Disease. Everything’s GREAT, right?!? No, there is no evidence of Leukemia in her blood, but the scars the disease left behind are evident every single day. Side effects from the treatments that saved her life are there now, and will continue to show themselves throughout her life. Jordan has cataracts that will require surgery for her to be able to see properly. She has a permanent heart condition that requires her to take several medications every day for the rest of her life. She is a foot shorter than she would have been had she not been sick. She cannot participate in any sports because her bones have a greater chance of breaking. There may be no cellular evidence of disease, but Jordan will always have “evidence of disease”.
Look at those photos of Jordan and TRY not to fall in love with her. IMPOSSIBLE.
So, my run today…God is so good.
I truly didn’t want to run, but Jordan pushed me to do it anyway. At mile 3, I met up with a guy completely by chance and turns out, after some miles and conversation, he has run the Chevron Houston Marathon & Aramco Half Marathon for Snowdrop Foundation before. He’s a 12 time IRONMAN finisher, and his fastest Ironman marathon time is 3:29. He was just humoring me by running with me today. Traci Duck and Bob Milligan, you should reach out to Derek Cooper and get him on Team Texas Snowdrop and Snowdrop Honor Team. Hell of an athlete and all around nice guy. You’ll see by my splits, where I started running with him: 9:51, 9:26, 8:48, 8:15, 8:13, 8:00, 7:59, 7:51, 7:56, 7:42, 7:59, 8:33.
Who will you meet tomorrow?