KIDS WITH COURAGE: Jordyn Schumacher
ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – KTTC is honored to introduce viewers monthly to some of the youngest among us, facing the unthinkable with bravery and optimism. In our 26th “Kids With Courage” segment, Caitlin Alexander introduces us to 19-year-old Jordyn Schumacher of Plainview, Minn.
Jordyn has always been a farm girl.
“From a young age, I just kind of grew up around the farm. I was with Dad and Grandpa every day, up in the mornings,” she said.
This fall, Jordyn is in her second year of college in Northeast Iowa. She is studying Dairy Science and Ag Business.
She would like to be like her grandfather, and possibly one day, take over the family farm.
Jordyn took it hard when she lost her grandpa to glioblastoma in 2018.
In her own way, she made sure her hero was there when she graduated, wearing his photo inside her graduation cap.
She didn’t know then he’d be there for her, too, when she needed him most.
In spring 2021, Jordyn and her family noticed she started getting tired.
“Not normal. Not her normal self,” said her father, Chad. “You know, she’s a busy kid. She loves being busy, up early.”
Still, she moved to Iowa to start college.
Not long after, it became clear something was really wrong.
“She had called us and said you’re never going to believe what happened, what I have,” recalled her mom, Amy. “I’m like, ‘What?’ And she showed me her neck.”
Jordyn had a golf-ball sized lymph node. Her parents rushed to get her into Mayo Clinic.
When doctors called Amy with the news, she and Chad loaded into the car.
“So, me and her drove down to school, and Jordyn was actually gone. She’d gone out with some friends that night,” Chad said.
When Jordyn came back, her response to the news took them by surprise.
“These guys took it harder than us. They were like, ‘Oh!’ Jordyn recalled.
“We’re bawling. We’ve got our bags. We’re ready to stay at college with her, and she’s like, ‘You guys can go home. I got class tomorrow,” Amy said.
The diagnosis was stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Jordyn began treatment immediately, undergoing six rounds of chemotherapy.
At one point, doctors ordered a bone marrow biopsy.
It was an event that would wind up yielding more than just a medical result.
“Right before when I went under, I just felt somebody’s hand kind of go like this,” Jordyn said, demonstrating the grasping of a hand. “And I could just hear him in my head saying like, ‘You’re going to be okay.’”
Jordyn said it was her grandpa, holding her, calming her, and willing her to fight.
“In that moment I just knew, I’m going to be okay,” she said.
And she has been-- battling her cancer alongside two other area girls, diagnosed around the same time.
Both of those girls, Abby Fick and Kallyn Beauperlant, have also been featured on Kids With Courage.
Kallyn’s mom spoke about the girl’s relationships.
“Just gotten to know each other and just been really supportive,” Megan Meyer said.
As the oldest of the three, Jordyn has tried to help lead the way.
“I didn’t really know the effects of how hard it would be, losing my hair, because I’ve always pictured myself as not a very girly girl,” she recalled. “So, it was really hard for me, and my mom kept pushing me to look at some wigs, and so we did. And once I started wearing them, the other two were like, ‘You look great! You know, like where can we find ones that we can feel normal?’”
Armed with her grandpa’s strength, this Kid With Courage is pushing forward, impressing everyone around her.
“If any of my kids could go through this, it’d be this one who could go through it and be okay. This is the biggest fighter I’ve ever met besides my dad,” Chad said.
Jordyn completed treatment in May 2022. During treatment, she completed her full school year online and even began an internship at a vet clinic.
“It’s a bump in the road,” she said.
If there is a Kid With Courage Caitlin should meet, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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