We have many words to describe putting an end to childhood cancer - eliminate, eradicate, finish, stop, wipe out, and so many more; but when we search for the right word to describe what children endure on their cancer journey, the only words that come to mind are those of war. Children battle cancer, they are in conflict against it, they are in a constant state of fight, and in the case of one young and persistent crusader, they are doing what cancer fears most - slaying it. By definition, to slay is to destroy or extinguish, but in the case of 15-year-old Jordan Vincent, the moniker she has been given, "the cancer slayer," is much more heroic than the distinction conveys.
Jordan was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer ten years ago; her diffuse tumor covers all of her brain, and all of her spine. She has spent more than half her life in treatment, and when faced with the possibility of a risky surgery that could potentially leave her paralyzed from the waist down, Jordan was fearless in her determination to attack her cancer and personify all that it is to be a slayer.
So, let's examine that word - slayer; what exactly are the characteristics of a cancer slayer? Perhaps in the end, what defines a slayer is not the ability to kill cancer, but the ability to instead defy it and live a joyful, happy existence in spite of it. A slayer is full of strength, the power to keep fighting, and even more than that, mental toughness to live what many of us deem a "normal existence." In many ways, Jordan is what her parents would deem a normal teenager, one who loves the technology her iPad brings, adores checking out the latest fashions, and who embraces a certain affinity for the color purple. Jordan has said that her hero is my daughter Alexandra "Alex" Scott; but I think the truth is - they are both heroes.
Like Jordan, my daughter Alex was thankful for what she did have, she didn't look back and wonder what could have been, but instead wondered what the future would hold. For Alex, she had hoped that the future would hold a cure for all childhood cancers, a vision that we still work toward here at the foundation bearing her name, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation. This holiday season, when we are all sitting around the table giving thanks for what we do have, I hope that each and every one of us will take a moment to be inspired by slayers like Alex and Jordan, who in the face of adversity, have always been thankful for what life has given them; not what it has taken.
In recognition of all the children fighting cancer, our Foundation is dedicating our holiday campaign to Jordan, one among thousands of cancer slayers, and we hope you'll join us. We're not talking about "sleighs" and mistletoe this holiday season, instead, we are on a mission to "slay" childhood cancer. We have set a goal to raise $40,000 to honor Jordan, and we hope you'll help us get there! Jordan spends each day looking forward, and thinking about what she can do next in her life; she's a kid after all, and that should be her only job. It is OUR job to support the community of slayers, those children fighting cancer day in and day out, by doing all that we can to eradicate childhood cancer. The war that the slayers endure is deemed war for a reason, and it's our job to make the journey easier.
Will you join us in slaying cancer this holiday season? Whether you watch the video below detailing Jordan's journey, donate or simply spread the word via social media, you can help give our slayers hope this holiday season!
Share on social media:
Learn the amazing story of Jordan Vincent, the Cancer Slayer: http://bitly.com/SlayCancer #SlayCancer
I'm joining @AlexsLemonade on its mission to #SlayCancer this holiday season! http://bitly.com/SlayCancer