Jorden is a young man with a big heart, a passion for helping others, and an adventurous spirit. Living with asthma has taught him that every breath is a gift, so he gives his all in everything he does, from sports to school to volunteering.
Jorden was born with breathing problems. When he was little, he got sick with RSV often, and each bought resulted in a trip to the Emergency Department where he would get steroids and a breathing treatment. As he got older, he got bronchitis frequently. Their family doctor referred them to a pulmonologist, who did a breathing test, which showed Jorden’s lung function was below normal; his lungs simply don’t hold as much air as a typical child his age. The specialist started Jorden on an inhaler twice daily, along with Singular, Claritin, and Benadryl. After trying three different inhalers, their doctor recommended Xolair injections every two weeks. Jorden uses an Atrovent inhaler before any physical activities, and if he gets short of breath, he uses an Albuterol inhaler.
You might think that such adversity would make Jorden feel defeated, but as his mom Jean says, “Jorden goes at life with full force. We tell him there is nothing he cannot do; reach for the stars, and don’t let asthma win!”
Like any teenager, Jorden loves football and video games, playing with his dogs, swimming, and hanging out with friends. A freshman this school year, Jorden participates in football and wrestling, and he’s thinking about trying basketball. His coaches are all understanding of his limitations, allowing him to sit and catch his breath if he starts to feel tired. His teachers are also accommodating, willing to work with him so he does not fall behind in school work.
Living with breathing challenges has taught Jorden a compassion for others. Since he was two years old, he has visited weekly with the residents at the Stuart Community Care Center where his mom works. When he was little, he had his own set of scrubs and would “work” by washing the residents’ eyeglasses. He loves to simply visit with the residents, but he has also had special relationships with several of them. One elderly woman always hated to get her hair done or have blood drawn; Jorden would sit with her, hold her hand so she would not be scared, and always told her everything would be okay. Another resident was a former teacher, so Jorden would bring his math and spelling homework and have her help him, which always made her smile. An elderly gentleman had family that lived far away, so Jorden visited him regularly and always keep the man’s bird feeder full so he could watch the birds out his window.
It has been challenging for Jorden and his family to figure out the right balance with medications, sports, activities, and volunteering, but they wouldn’t have it any other way. “We try not to focus on the negatives,” said Jorden’s dad Jeff, “and just enjoy life.”