Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Celebrate Life

I want to share a precious season of my life with you.  If you know me personally, you know my story and the "Journey of Jordan".  {Warning: this is long post!}
In the late summer of 2004, I was preparing my kindergarten classroom for the new school year and was approached by my principal. She came to explained that one of the students {Jordan} enrolled in my classroom had relapsed with leukemia on July 15th and would be qualifying as a 'home bound' student.  My principal wanted to know if I would be willing to accept the duty to home school Jordan throughout the school year while she was receiving treatment.  I of course never even considered not being her teach - in whatever environment that entailed.  Honestly, I believe in God's divine intervention and that it was not by chance that Jordan was enrolled in my kindergarten classroom that fall.  Actually, I believed it was the answer to the desire of my heart.  When I was in college, I was part of a service sorority, ESA, and one of our philanthropies was St.Jude Children's Research Hospital.  I had the honor of going to Memphis and presenting a check to the hospital from our fundraising efforts throughout the year.  While taking a tour of the hospital, we came to the classroom where a Memphis school district teacher would work with the students on appropriate skills and complete assignments they miss while receiving treatment.  It was at that moment in time, I vowed that I would one day be a teacher at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital for a season of my life.  Well, God taught me that I didn't have to travel to Memphis to make the impact in a child's life who was receiving treatment and unable to attend school...I could serve and teach a little girl right down the street from where I was teaching.
I had the honor of meeting Jordan in August 2004 at her home when I arrived for our first session of kindergarten.  I will never forget the shy yet joy-filled spirited girl who came down those stairs that day.  It was the beginning of a special friendship.  I will fast forward the story and bring you to the end of my school year as Jordan's home bound teacher.  I had asked Jordan's mom how I could stay connected to their family following my time as Jordan's teacher.  It was then that I learned about Team In Training.  Jordan's mom was training to do the Disney World 1/2 Marathon that coming January and invited me to join them in Florida.  We had two different ideas - I thought join them to experience Disney and cheer her on in the race; she was thinking that I would do the race with her!  I politely kept my laughter to myself and at a different time told her that I would not be doing the 1/2 marathon with her. Well, God changed my heart and I ended up training with Jordan's mom and doing the 2006 Disney World 1/2 Marathon...and then the Nike Women's 1/2 Marathon in October 2006...and then the 2007 Disney World Full Marathon!!  Needless to say my passion for children and finding a cure for childhood cancer motivated my decision to fund raise and participate in these endurance events with Team In Training!
This past season of my life I shared with you is vital in understanding the importance of the event I am attending this Friday evening in Illinois.  The Celebration of Life event is a huge fundraiser for Team In Training participants as well as time to remember and honor those battling cancer, survivors of cancer, and the angels who have passed on. I was actually part of the planning committee for the first ever Celebration of Life and am so blessed to have the opportunity to attend the 5th one this year.  The event includes food from local restaurants, a deejay, silent auction, raffle baskets, and a special ceremony.  This year the special guest of honor is the one and only Jordan!  Jordan is being honored as she is now considered "cured" from ALL!! July 17, 2012 Jordan celebrated being out of cancer treatments for 5 years! Amazing blessing!!  With a joyful heart, I accepted a ticket from Jordan to come and Celebrate her life!  What a honor it is for me to attend and give thanks to Jordan for being my every day hero...inspiring, giving, teaching and loving me!

Thank you for reading this long post! Now you know a piece of my story and a quick snapshot of the "Journey of Jordan".  If you are lead to know more, send me a message!  We have a beautiful, treasured friendship between my family and Jordan's.  My husband even trained and participated in a Century Ride after hearing Jordan's cancer testimony! I could go on and on...so until I write more...

...enjoy a few snapshots of the tiles I am donating to the Celebration of Life event.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...