A Mother’s Gratitude

Chastity witnessed her daughter’s transformation from leukemia patient to college track star and is thankful to St. Jude.

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  •  2 min

Chastity and Jordyn

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We recently celebrated our daughter, Jordyn’s, 19th birthday. We surprised her in her dorm room with a confetti cake with tall sparkly gold candles, sweet treats and blue-colored decorations. Jordyn is in her first year of college. And anytime we can celebrate Jordyn, we do. Her birthday is just an excuse. 

When Jordyn was 9 and a competitive gymnast, she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a blood cancer. Our world stopped. We had so many questions. Most important was: “What do we do now?” Within a week, Jordyn was referred to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®. We had known and supported St. Jude because members of our church in Louisiana had children who had also been treated there. 


Jordyn’s treatment included chemotherapy. It was tough. We watched our fearless, muscular little girl’s body transform right before our eyes into a frail stature. My little girl, who once mastered full straddle leaps on a 4-inch balance beam and who could swing from one uneven bar to the other, could only walk four to five steps before becoming breathless and forced to sit down or use a wheelchair. Even in those times she fought. She never gave up. But the idea of her returning to gymnastics became difficult to think about. 

What we didn't know was that her medical team would encourage her every step of the way as she worked to return to her athletic lifestyle. 

Jordyn returned to gymnastics in 2017. She reclaimed her gymnastic state champion titles year after year. She earned spots on regional teams and later the opportunity to represent Louisiana nationally.

Jordyn then decided to try something else: track and field. By the end of her first year in the sport, Jordyn won state champion in the indoor arena. She then moved to outdoor track and field. She became a first-place sprinter, and later set records in long jumping.  

Jordyn graduated at the top of her high school class and was awarded an academic and athletic scholarship from Loyola University-New Orleans. She is a standout in track and field there. 

Jordyn's high school graduation day

Jordyn's high school graduation

Jordyn has fought and faced all things thrown her way with the same grit, fearlessness, determination and fight as she did with cancer. She has proved to herself just how strong she is.  

As her mom, I am so proud of her. I am thankful I was able to see her transform from a decorated gymnast to a track and field champ. I thank St. Jude, its medical and support staff and donors for everything they have done for my daughter. They have given her the chance to graduate high school, go away to college and pursue her athletic dreams. I don’t know what the future holds for Jordyn, but we’re blessed to have our daughter by our side, to cheer her from the stands and embrace whatever lies ahead. 

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