One Man’s Journey to Thowing Out the First Pitch for The New York Yankees
In homes across America, children are dreaming up visions of their future. Some imagine themselves as a famous entertainer. Some hope to blaze a trail of scientic discovery or medical healing. Many want to become acclaimed atheletes and sports figures. In order to become any of these things, each and every one of those beautiful young souls is going to have to persevere through struggle and sacrifice, dedicating endless hours to developing their talent and perfecting their hustle while all the other kids seem to be playing.
And THIS, my friends, is Jordan Thomas. Watch him as he descends into New York City, walking through baggage claim at Laguardia, flanked by an army of loving companions, on his way to be interviewed on national television by his friend, CNN News anchor Brooke Baldwin. Nine years prior, Jordan was named “CNN Hero of the Year” at a star-studded Hero’s Tribute event honoring those that are spearheading change through personal courage, innovation, and fortitude – which describes what Jordan built in The Jordan Thomas Foundation to a ‘T’. JTF’s mission is to provide prostheses for children of traumatic injury and limb loss throughout childhood and adolescence and serve as a caring resource, advocate and support system for the youth and their families.
As Jordan and “16 of his best friends” left the CNN studio and headed to Yankee Stadium, he sat quiet for a moment. He couldn’t not reflect on the journey that brought him to this day. When asked about the accident that occurred in August 2006, Jordan responds, “The wake pushed me behind the boat. I remember just being underneath the boat and hearing the motor go. I knew immediately what had happened. I looked down, my black fins were all gone. All I saw was just red everywhere.” And he later describes a calmness that permeated his spirit as his parents battled to plug the bleeding as they sped to the ocean’s shore to save Jordan’s life. But they couldn’t save his legs from the calf down. Bilateral transtibial amputation.
During the weeks following his accident Jordan chose not to become stifled in fear or grief. Instead, he visited other amputees in the hospital and began to to dedicate endless hours to creating the infrastructure for The Jordan Thomas Foundation. And this perseverance, struggle, and hustle is why Jordan Thomas got to walk onto the field and throw the first pitch for a New York Yankees game on one splendidly momentous August night in 2016. Joe Girardi invited him. BOOM.
“It was surreal to go on CNN, to go to Yankee Stadium with the sixteen people I care about the most and stand on home plate on the anniversary of my accident.” (Oh, yea. THAT.) When asked if he had any pearls of wisdom for his younger self, Jordan had only this to say; “it’s all worth it.”
A child and their family never know, as they dream of BECOMING, what road will take them there. If you would like to support a child with a dream of acquiring a prosthetic limb, so they may have a better opportunity to achieve their own hopes and ambitions, please donate here or visit JordanThomasFoundation.org