As a second grader, Jordan Ridnour experienced an uphill battle most of us could not ever dream of facing. But, bubbly and curious Jordan courageously overcame every obstacle in her path and continues to inspire and reach out to others.
In February 2008, the Ridnours received the news that their 8-year-old daughter had T-Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma, a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that affects lymphatic tissue found throughout the body - not only in the lymph nodes, but other organs that are responsible for forming blood and protecting the body against germs.
"We were very scared and devastated," Heidi Ridnour, Jordan's mom, said. "We felt unsure of her future, but Jordan handled the news with confidence and felt that we would handle this together and tackle whatever came our way."
Jordan's initial stay at Blank Children's Hospital was over a month long, which caused her to miss roughly seven weeks of school. Frequent hospital stays followed, and during this time, Jordan also lost her ability to walk.
"Without a doubt the most difficult aspect of this process has been watching our daughter endure treatment and the effects it has had on her," Heidi said. "As a parent, this is one of the most difficult trials we face."
After three years of chemotherapy, physical therapy and regaining her ability to walk, Jordan has not let this process slow her down. She plays soccer, swims and is active in "Coaches vs. Cancer" as the Student Ambassador for childhood cancer in the Dallas Center-Grimes school district.
Jordan, now 11, wants to continue sharing her story and spreading hope by becoming a counselor at the Children's Cancer Connection camp.
"Our family has been impacted daily," Heidi said. "We continue to see how this has changed our life; we treasure each moment even more."