Madison Community Rallies to Help Local Girl Fight Cancer
August 3, 2009-Madison, AL—Catherine “Kitty” Jordan is a typical 8-year-old girl. She loves her friends at St. John’s School and she loves soccer. This past spring, Kitty’s parents noticed a change in their energetic soccer player. She was becoming winded and complained to a friend that her “energy is just not working.” Suspecting anemia or a virus, Tim and Martha Jordan took their daughter to the pediatrician.
However, blood work confirmed a deeper horror: Leukemia. Kitty’s parents took her to Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama on April 6, 2009. The next few days produced a frightening diagnosis of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) that would require intense chemotherapy and the need for a bone marrow transplant sometime later this year. AML is a very aggressive cancer with a 5-year-survival-rate of just over 50%.
The following months have brought many ups and downs for Kitty, her parents, and big brother Patrick. Countless trips up and down I-65 to receive three rounds of chemotherapy and several additional hospitalizations for infections and poor blood counts are just a few. Kitty has even had to battle a touch-and-go stay in the Intensive Care Unit while on a ventilator and has had part of one lung removed.
But Kitty doesn’t want to talk about that. She lights up and wants to tell you about GIRL POWER ON FOUR TOWER, the floor where she resides most days at Children’s, and how awesome her nurses are. She spends her good days making art projects for her old friends back home and her new hospital friends on Tower Four. Martha is always by her side. She is now professionally versed at platelets and white blood cell counts, bone marrow transplant guidelines and infection protocol. She spends many hours praying the rosary for her daughter and for many other young lives at Children’s Hospital. Such is the life of parents of cancer patients.
Back in Madison, friends of the Jordans want Kitty, Martha, Timothy and Patrick to focus on those things too. They are busy raising money so the Jordans do not have to think about how they will likely reach their lifetime cap of insurance coverage.
Friends have even set up a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization called Kitty’s Miracle Fund to help ease the financial burden that treatment brings. So far, they have enlisted the help of Rocket City United, Huntsville’s professional soccer team. The United has donated in excess of $2,000 from ticket sales and a team jersey with Kitty’s name and number on it. St. John the Baptist Church has raised money through bake sales at summer movie nights. Two upcoming events include a spaghetti dinner August 15 at the church and a soccer tournament September 4-6 called Kickin’ for Kitty. For more information on way to help the Jordans visit http://www.kittysmiraclefund.org