Local News

High School Fullback Battles Defenses and Hodgkins

Posted October 15, 1998

— It's a story of heart, determination and perseverance.Smithfield-Selmafullback John Jordan has battled back from a strength-sapping disease to be a key player in the Spartan attack.

Jordan looks like any other High School football player. However, last Christmas he was diagnosed withHodgkins Disease, and it changed his life.

"I look at life a little differently now," Jordan said. "I appreciate the fact that I can come out here and play football and just do the little things. I used to never really think about them that much, but now I appreciate just being able to get up every morning."

That appreciation for being on the field has rubbed off on his teammates. At practice during the dog days of August when a few players were feeling sorry for themselves, coach Joe McCullen decided it was time to stop practice and talk to the team.

"This guy is out here at practice, and he's been diagnosed with cancer. It's inside his body and he's gone through all the treatments, and he's still fighting every minute of the way out here. You go out there and do the same thing," McCullen said. "The guys kind of looked around, and said 'That's right.'"

Jordan always thought that he would play again, and eventually beat the cancer. He had too many people in his corner.

"They don't let you get down," Jordan said. "If you want to get down, they won't let it happen. That is probably the thing I remember the most - how good the people were to me, how they kept encouraging me and kept me going."

Ultimately, Jordan kept himself going. He never gave up on the things dear to his heart.

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