It started with pain in Jordan Johnson’s elbows and knees. His parents thought it was just a normal case of growing pains. But Jordan, a 12-year-old Azusa resident, was also sensitive to light and he wasn’t eating well.
Then one day in March, Jordan collapsed while playing video games. His parents rushed him to the hospital and a CT scan showed an alarming presence in Jordan’s skull – a golf-ball sized tumor attached to the lining of his brain.
Doctors said Jordan had Gliosarcoma, an extremely rare and highly malignant tumor. The tumor is almost non-existent in children, with only one other child younger than Jordan known to have the cancer.
Doctors performed the surgery to remove the tumor and told Jordan’s parents the surgery was successful – the tumor was gone.
Later, the medical staff would have even more good news for the Johnson family – they had been selected for the Make a Wish Foundation.
But the news initially gave the Johnsons quite a fright.
“We thought the Make a Wish Foundation was for terminally ill children only,” said Jordan’s mother Kelly. “They were telling us Jordan was doing well and they gave him a good prognosis, and they tell us this.”
Doctors assured the Johnsons that Jordan’s prognosis was still good and that wishes are granted to children with potentially life-threatening diseases – news that relieved the Johnsons.
“We’re just grateful that Jordan pulled through,” said Kelly. “I’m sure if we didn’t find the tumor when we did, we would not have had the same prognosis.”
Since the surgery, Jordan has remained tumor-free. He still undergoes radiation therapy, treatment Jordan may have to undergo for the rest of his life.
“This is something that will ground you in what is really important in life,” said Jordan’s father, Allen. “We, as parents, don’t like to think we’re not paying attention to our kids, but we put things off, we say we can do that later. After this, it just realigns what everything in this life is for, what’s important, like every single moment with our loved ones. Because everything can be gone.”
The entire Jordan family can now look forward to more moments together with a 6-day trip to Oahu, Hawaii, sponsored by the Make a Wish Foundation.
Jordan said he looks forward to surfing, seeing volcanoes and swimming with the dolphins.
“I just think it would be fun,” said Jordan, who aspires to be a police officer when he grows up. “I’ve never been there before. I’m excited.”