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One amazing kid: ‘Go Gold’ Sept. 19-21 for Jordan, who’s fighting cancer

9/14/16

Elizabeth Medora
Staff

ANTHEM – Eleven-year-old Jordan “Jojo” Calderon is a caring, kindhearted girl who is working on collecting toys to donate to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. She knows how much the PCH kids go through and how much they need support because she’s been there many times herself. Jordan is undergoing treatment for brain cancer. She and her mother travel to Los Angeles monthly so that Jordan can receive specialized care.

On Sept. 19-21, Jordan will be getting both her scheduled treatment and an MRI. While she’s undergoing her treatment, her mom has asked the community to show their support for her by wearing yellow or gold and “going gold” for Jordan, during this, Childhood Cancer Awareness month.

“I want her to not feel like she’s alone,” said Anthem resident Raquel Calderon, Jordan’s mother. Raquel says she’s aiming to “get our community together and get support not just for her, but for all the kids who are fighting this battle.” If you go gold those days, join Jordan’s Facebook group and post a photo: www.facebook.com/groups/jojoskickingcancersbutt.

Raquel noted that when Jordan had her first treatment, many family members and friends wore pink, Jordan’s favorite color, to show their solidarity and support for her. Going gold will help bolster Jordan as she continues treatment and show her there’s a whole community who is rooting for her.

“These kids fight tougher battles than most adults ever do in their lives,” Raquel said. 

Donations for Jordan and other kids fighting cancer are also being sought. Raquel is working on making gold donation jars and has asked local businesses to display the jars to help raise funds for medical treatments. Jordan’s treatments in LA cost an out-of-pocket $200 a trip; Raquel, a single mom, knows how hard it can be to make ends meet when faced with rising medical costs. If you would like to donate or get a donation jar for your business, contact Raquel through Jordan’s Facebook group.

“I just want to be able to do what I can to help anybody in a situation like this,” Raquel emphasized.

If there’s one thing Jordan is known for, it’s her kindness and caring. She wants to collect toys and raise money to buy toys for Phoenix Children’s Hospital to cheer up the kids who are undergoing cancer treatment there.

Raquel recounted the story of a little girl who she and Jordan saw multiple times when they were at PCH, saying this child “really pulled on Jordan’s heartstrings.” The little girl was alone there when they saw her and was too medically fragile to leave her hospital room, so she played in her room as close to the door as possible so she could see other people. Seeing that little girl, and the many kids like her who need to know that people care about them, inspired Jordan with the idea for a toy drive for the hospital.

“She wanted to do something like that for these kids,” said Raquel, describing the moment Jordan shared her plan; Jordan told her she wanted to visit sick kids in the hospital and bring them a toy to let them know she’s fighting with them. Jordan was in the hospital herself at the time, and Raquel, Raquel’s mother, and the nurses in the room were overcome by Jordan’s tenderhearted idea.

“She told us, and she brought us all to tears,” Raquel recounted.

The toy drive is in the planning stages right now. PCH Manager of Child Life Services Betsy Rosebrugh said that the hospital is happy to accept many kinds of donated toys; donated toys must be new. She noted the older patients at the hospital enjoy getting gift cards, too, particularly for birthday presents or after particularly painful procedures. If you’d like to help PCH another way, volunteers are needed; visit www.phoenixchildrens.org/volunteer to learn more.

Raquel is working on getting donation boxes and jars at local businesses, and if you would like to help out, message her through Jordan’s Facebook group. Juggling a donation drive with work, medical care, and being a mom is no doubt difficult for Raquel, but she says it’s important to her to do what she can to help.

“You gotta be these kids’ advocate, gotta do something for them, and let them know they’re not by themselves,” she emphasized.

Help show Jordan and every other child who is in this fight that they are not fighting alone. Go gold this month and show your support for these kids; post pictures and encourage others to join in.

As Jordan continues to show cancer who’s boss, she inspires a whole community with her courage and her caring.

“She has the kindest heart, and she’s just the sweetest kid,” Raquel said, adding that even as Jordan goes through all of this, she still smiles.

Raquel has a plaque in her home to remind everyone to keep fighting and keep smiling, just like Jordan. The plaque reads: ‘When you feel like giving up, remember there’s a 10-year-old fighting cancer who still smiles.’

Show your support for #TeamJojo and join in the donation drive at www.facebook.com/groups/jojoskickingcancersbutt.