Five year-old Jordan Greiner and her mom Lisa have called the Ronald McDonald House home for nearly a year since Jordan’s diagnosis with leukemia. After months of strange bruising and misdiagnoses, Jordan ended up in the hospital when she suffered severe complications from a hamster bite. Blood tests revealed that Jordan had advanced acute myeloid leukemia.
Following an extended regimen of chemotherapy at home in Asheville, Jordan and Lisa came to NC Children’s Hospital in November 2011 for her first bone marrow transplant. Jordan’s bone marrow donor, older brother Garron, was a perfect match. After a successful transplant, Jordan spent 2 months recovering at the Ronald McDonald House, leaving just in time for Christmas at home with her family.
In the fall of 2012, Jordan started kindergarten – Lisa and the rest of the family were overjoyed to see Jordan so playful and full of life. But just 3 days into her first week at school, Lisa received devastating news: Jordan’s body had rejected the bone marrow and she would need another transplant, this time from a non-relative donor. Happily, a match was found and Jordan is now back at the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill recovering from her second bone marrow transplant. It’s been a difficult year, to say the least, but Jordan’s spirit remains strong.
One of the hardest parts of the long recovery process is the time spent away from family. Jordan loves when her brother and sister are able to come for a weekend visit. She has a very special bond with Garron and, even on the tough days, he is always able to make her laugh.
When Lisa first came to the House she was nervous and uncomfortable talking with other families but, over time, she learned to connect with the other parents. She said one of the most important things the House provided her was the “chance to share, laugh, and cry with others having life challenges with their kids.” A veteran at the House, Lisa now encourages new families to open up and provides a listening ear to any parent in need.
One of Lisa’s and Jordan’s favorite times at the House was the holiday party during their first stay in 2011. Jordan spent much of the evening twirling around the living room in her shiny red party dress. Even from behind a face mask, her smile lit up the room.
Jordan has at least 3 months of recovery before she and Lisa can return to Asheville for good. But the family finds comfort and support in their home-away-from-home at the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill.