When Robert Williams thinks about his 8-year-old daughter, Jordan, he can’t come up with only one word to describe her. At best, he can narrow it to three—resilient, blessed and amazing.
Jordan seems like a typical carefree second grader except that she is fighting leukemia, specifically a kind called Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, most commonly found in young children around her age.
To make matters worse, Jordan’s parents have been out of work and collecting unemployment.
With financial matters looking bleak, a $7,500 one-time grant from the Foundation’s relief fund Project Independence came at the perfect time and helped the family catch up on household expenses, while Jordan continued receiving treatments.
“This grant meant the world to us,” says Milly Williams. “It made my family feel like, even though we have to go through tough times right now, we’ll be OK.”
The family of five is also able to receive food stamps, but the struggle to stay ahead of bills is sometimes overwhelming. Frequent visits to the hospital along with caring for their other children make it hard for the couple to find steady employment.
It was especially difficult during the first six months after diagnosis, in February 2015, when Jordan had chemotherapy sessions at the Valerie Fund Children’s Center at Goryeb Children’s Hospital two to three times every week.
The treatment sessions eventually slowed to every other week and are now once a month. After another year of maintenance (the phase Jordan is in now), treatment will take place once every two years for the rest of her life as a precautionary measure.
In the meantime, Jordan likes to daydream about what she wants to be when she grows up. It’s a toss-up between a dancer, a musician or a chef. Her favorite color? Orange, of course, because she says, “It’s the color for leukemia - the orange ribbon.”