Tupelo man to tackle St Jude half marathon in his wheelchair

Jorden Daniel says he wants to raise awareness about the need to support St Jude

TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) –  One week from today, hundreds of Northeast Mississippians will be running the streets of Memphis, as part of the annual St Jude Marathon.

One of those participants is a 19-year-old Tupelo man, who has been a St Jude patient his entire life.

“I have to do this on my own,” said Jorden Daniel, who has always had an independent spirit, even though he is wheelchair-bound, because of a bout with cancer.

At four months, Jorden was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, when doctors discovered a tumor between his spine and heart.  Chemo, radiation, and surgery removed the tumor.   Although Jorden was pronounced cancer-free, he was never able to walk.

Jorden is also my nephew, and in 2011, I pushed Jorden in our first St Jude Half Marathon.  Through the years we also raised money for the well-known children’s hospital, where no parent ever gets a bill and we also took part in the races.

This year, Jorden is going solo for the half, in his wheelchair.

“Me and a couple of my friends started running 5ks around the area and we kind of said it as a joke to do the half in December and decided to do it,” Daniel said.

Jorden has a full-time job but is also making the time to train for the 13-mile run.

“The longest I have gone was 10 point three in about two hours,” he said.

Jorden knows he is facing a challenge pushing himself, in his wheelchair the entire race.  He is also eager to join other runners in a certain part of the course.

“Looking forward to going through the campus, because I was a patient there, and it’s heartfelt,” Daniel said.

He also encourages people to donate to St Jude.

“It takes a lot of money to run that place daily and they help a lot with saving kids’ lives battling childhood cancer,” he said.

Jorden hopes to raise money, with help from the community, for a racing chair he can use next year.

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