With only a few exceptions, I took a year off of Jordan’s Journey in 2013. 10 years ago to this very day, my 5 year-old daughter started having excruciating headaches. As you probably know, kids don’t get headaches often. That’s why we found it odd that Jordan kept complaining about her head hurting. She did this through the holidays, but then she’d sleep it off and bounce back to the fun and spirit of the season. But on January 30, 2003, something was different. She was in so much pain. In a matter of days she would be in the hospital, about to have several surgical procedures, and she would begin her journey as a cancer slayer.

Those memories are still fresh in my mind after all these years. Even though Jordan’s cancer is currently stable, our family’s “threat level” is always elevated to orange. We find plenty of ways to have fun and to enjoy each day, but there is a shadow that follows us everywhere. We try to ignore it. We reason it’s harmless–the product of anxiety and trauma–but we never take our eye off of it.

This is why I wrote about the journey less in 2013. I didn’t want to give any strength to the shadow. I wanted to let it sit there on its own for awhile. I wanted to give space for my daughter to live as normal of a life as she possibly could. I wanted to take the pressure off of my son, who has often sacrificed parts of his own childhood to walk with his family on this journey. And, frankly, I wanted time away myself. I didn’t want to write about cancer or slaying cancer or the emotions that accompany both.

My off year is closing and I will pick up on the journey anew in 2014. I hope that Jordan will help me more, to tell the story her way. In January, she has a book coming out that she co-authored with our good friend Dallas Graham for the Red Fred Project. It’s going to be fantastic! We are also planning to bring back our podcast series. And we have photo projects in the works. You’ll find them all here throughout the year.

But before we close 2013, I’d like to ask you to help us achieve a goal that is very meaningful to Jordan and our entire family. You’ve heard us speak often about our favorite charities. Jordan is proud of her work with The Pablove Foundation and Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. This year, Alex’s Lemonade dedicated their winter fundraising drive to Jordan’s honor. They made a movie about her journey (seen below) and they’ve set a goal to raise $40,000 which will fund 800 hours of pediatric cancer research for tumors like Jordan’s. This research means so much to us. Jordan’s neuro-oncologist has had two research projects funded by ALSF. Every dollar we raise benefits children like Jordan in a very tangible way, from an organization founded by a brave hero named Alex that has raised over $65 million in the time since Jordan began her journey 10 years ago.

We need your help to reach our goal before the end of the year. Please consider making a donation in any amount. But more importantly, please help us spread the word. Forward this link on to your friends and family. Tell them that this one honors the girl you’ve been following on the blog for so long–the story of the cancer slayer. Get the word out for Jordan and for all kids with cancer so that we can finish strong.

Thank you. And Happy New Year.

Written by Larry

Larry Vincent is Jordan Vincent's father. He is a writer, photographer and a branding executive who works at United Talent Agency in Los Angeles. He is the author of Brand Real and Legendary Brands and is currently at work on his first novel, Juliette, which is inspired by Jordan's Journey.

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