Calling Jordyn Small a “fighter” would be like saying New Jersey has good pizza.


A 16-year old sophomore at Donovan Catholic High School, she was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor almost three years ago and underwent 15 months of grueling chemotherapy.  With her tumor stable and to improve her quality of life doctors halted the chemo and while the tumor did not shrink it has not grown which is good news.

Jordyn still has to have an MRI every three months to see if it has grown and also has regular visits with her neuro ophthalmologist to monitor any vision loss.  In a somewhat bizarre twist her tumor was discovered by her eye doctor after the family dog ate her glasses.

During the 15 months of chemo Jordyn made weekly trips to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and those visits were anything but fun as she arrived at CHOP early in the morning and would be there for many hours.

Jordyn Small
Jordyn Small (photo provided)

She also noticed that the teenagers receiving treatment seemed to be part of a somewhat forgotten group. The waiting room and more all seemed to be geared more towards very young children. There was plenty of things for little kids to watch and do but the teen room was a smaller area and did not offer much.

Teenagers would often just put their earbuds in, their hoods up and try to fall asleep to kill time.

Jordyn was there for several holidays and while there would be donated gifts again it appeared that more were for small children.  So this “fighter” who has her own health to worry about decided to do something about it.

With the help of her family and those from Donovan Catholic’s S.A.D.D. club (Students Against Destructive Decisions) Jordyn has led a fundraiser to purchase holiday gifts for teenagers at CHOP who are in the same boat she was not very long ago.

As of today Jordyn & Company have raised $5,000 to purchase 200 $25 gift cards for Amazon & iTunes so the teens could download music, games, movies and books while receiving their treatments.  In addition they will put together gift bags which will include lip balm, mints and warm comfy socks because as she said “our lips dry out from chemo, the mints will dilute the metal taste in our mouths and our feet get cold after chemo.”

Next Monday Jordyn heads to CHOP for check-ups and that’s when she’ll deliver her gift bags which clearly will bring some joy to kids who she can clearly relate to.  If you want a perfect example of someone who believes “it’s better to give than receive” than look no further than Jordyn Small who certainly has a very big heart.

For those interested in contributing to her efforts which will continue after Christmas you can contact Jordyn at

Jordyn Small
Jordyn Small (photo provided)
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