In the autumn of 2004, 11-year-old Jordan Grisham was like many other 5th graders – active, outgoing, and carefree. However, his easygoing lifestyle was hindered by headaches that got progressively worse and more frequent. By December, the pain could no longer be ignored. A preliminar y CT scan caused concern, so doctors scheduled an immediate MRI. The MRI showed a brain tumor nestled in the back of Jordans head. Less than a week later, just one week after the initial doctor visit and CT scan, Jordan underwent surgery, and the doctor removed the tumor – or so he thought. A post-operative MRI showed that a tiny bit of the tumor remained. The medical team did not want to put Jordan through another surgery until they could confirm what type of cancer they were up against.
After an agonizing two-week wait for pathology results, Jordan received his diagnosis. He had medulloblastoma, a disease in which malignant cells form in the tissues of the brain. With this diagnosis, Jordan had to prepare for another surgery to remove the remainder of the tumor.
A post-operative MRI in January 2005 showed that doctors had successfully removed the remaining tumor. However, due to its malignancy, Jordan underwent an extensive series of radiation and chemotherapy treatments. Since the conclusion of his treatments, Jordan goes for regular MRIs. After each clean MRI, he regains a bit more of his pre-surgery lightheartedness.
From the start, Jordan had a positive attitude that carried him through his surgeries and treatments, inspiring those around him. He declared that the chemotherapy treatments would not make him sick – and, despite doctors warnings, he never got ill over the course of his treatments. On the first day of 6th grade, Jordan proudly wore his baseball cap to school, and he made straight As for the entire year.
Jordan believes in the power of a positive attitude and faith in God. For his garden, he selected vibrant, vivid colors to signify hope and make visitors happy.