He’s teaming up Friday with the community to tackle heart disease during Jacksonville’s football game against Glenwood High.
Jordan underwent a second surgery before he turned 5. Though he’ll need another operation in the future, he is healthy. The Lincoln Land Community College student will be a guest of honor when Jacksonville and Glenwood face off at 7 p.m.
“It feels good to be able to help somebody out,” Jordan said. “I try to help out as much as possible just because they’re able to use me as a visual throughout the community.”
Teens and families from both schools are working to raise money for the American Heart Association. Students are selling red T-shirts for the game so everyone in the stadium can take part in a “Red Out.” Jacksonville and Glenwood students are competing against one another to raise the most money, with the losing principal taking the winning principal to dinner.
Jacksonville High senior Katie Shafer got involved with the event through her work in the athletic office. She’s also planning a special halftime show with the rest of her drumline.
“We definitely have prepared a lot for this,” Katie said. Students will “actually see the benefit” of their work through this fundraiser.
The goal is to reach multiple generations, said Kathy Alexander, youth market affiliate consultant for the association. “Who doesn’t like a football game on a Friday night?”
In the United States, 4,600 people suffer a heart attack or stroke every day, Alexander said. Half of those victims lose their fight by the following day. Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in the United States
“This is the first generation of children not expected to live as long as their parents, which is kind of scary when you think about it,” Alexander said.
“If we can encourage them to make good choices, then when they get older, heart disease might not even be an issue in their lives.”
The gates open at 5 p.m. Friday. There will be health screenings, kids’ activities, heart-healthy food and entertainment.