Fundraiser set for Matthews Police officer’s family
For years, Matthews Police Officer Tommy Jordan has given back to his community.
First as a brick mason, then as a husband and father. He and his wife made trips across the country, to be with their daughter when she was in the hospital needing a lung transplant. When his wife fell sick with lymphoma, he was by her side. And then, when the medical bills started piling up, Jordan sold his motorcycle, to help chip away at the debt.
Now its Matthews’ turn to give to him. Rack ‘Em Pub & Billards, 1898 Windsor Square Drive, will hold a tournament fundraiser at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 27 to help Jordan and his family pay their medical bills. Cost is $40 per person.
“You will never hear Tommy complain or have a negative attitude,” Rack ‘Em employee Rhonda Hull said. “It doesn’t matter what kind of day Tommy is having or what’s going on in his life, he always greets you with a smile.”
Hull, who has known Jordan and his wife, Brenda, for more than 10 years, helped organize the fundraiser.
“It certainly makes you wonder why people like Tommy have to go through all the trials and tribulations life has thrown at him over the years,” Hull said. “Or maybe it’s because it takes someone like Tommy to help carry his family through all of this.”
Jordan was a brick mason until 2004 when he became a police officer.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” Jordan said. “When you’re helping someone, it’s all worth it.”
The medical issues for the Jordan family started in 2000, when their daughter, Jennifer, who was 15 at the time, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease. After two rounds of chemo, the cancer went into remission, but resurfaced the next year. She’s been cancer free since a stem cell transplant in 2001.
In 2007, Brenda started feeling sick and eventually agreed to go to the doctor.
“She was real tired, just wore out most of the time,” Jordan said. “When she went to the doctor, they told her she had mono.”
That was followed by cancer-large cell lymphoma. While starting chemo, Brenda also got shingles, due to her weakened immune system. At the same time, the couple’s oldest daughter, Elizabeth, who was pregnant, developed preeclampsia, a condition where a woman develops high blood pressure and excess protein in the urine. The only cure is to deliver the baby.
Doctors gave Elizabeth steroid shots and performed an emergency C-section. Her son Logan was born June 15, 2008, weighing 1 pound, 14 ounces.
“It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever seen,” Tommy said. “He could fit in my hand. My grandson was smaller than the stuffed clownfish we bought for him.”
After two months in ICU, Logan was sent home. At the same time, Brenda completed her radiation treatments and was pronounced cancer free, but suffered lasting nerve damage from the shingles.
“She’s still got shingle pain, but you would never know it,” Jordan said, choking back tears. “She hurts, but just never complains.”
Also at this time, Brenda laid off from her job of 13 years. She would later find a job working at a real estate company in Charlotte.
“Man, the only way we’ve got through all this is by the grace of God,” Jordan said. “I don’t know how people without faith get through it.”
Earlier this year, his daughter Jennifer was back in the hospital, with a type of viral pneumonia. Due to the damage the disease did to her lungs, she had to get a transplant. The procedure was done in St. Louis, so Tommy and Brenda found themselves making several trips across the country.
Finding themselves low on funds, Jordan sold his beloved motorcycle, to help cover trip expenses and some of the growing medical bills.
“We were struggling and I said ‘What the heck, it’s just a bike,’” Jordan said. “I’ll get another one sometime.”
The procedure went fine and Jennifer’s body accepted the organ. Earlier this month, she was able to leave St. Louis for the first time in quite a while. Jordan said the family is making arrangements for Jennifer to live with them in Matthews while she heals.
“We are so thankful for the prayers and support we have had to this point,” Jordan said.
Want to go?
Rack ‘Em Pub & Billards, 1898 Windsor Square Drive in Matthews, will host a tournament fundraiser at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 27 for Matthews Police Officer Tommy Jordan and his family to help pay their medical bills. Cost is $40 per person. For more information, call 704-847-7665.