For the first nine years of his life Jordan Sanders was like most kids. He loved to run, play and enjoyed life. But in August of 2002 things changed.
His family discovered a knot in his leg. They went to see doctors in East Texas who immediately sent him to Dallas. By the end of the day he was diagnosed with cancer. "Kids are not supposed to get that," says mother Lisa Sanders, "especially kids that are so full of life and enjoy life so much. And you think how could something like that happen to them that could take their life."
Jordan had perfeial nerve sheath. A rare form of cancer that averages only 25 cases a year nationwide. Doctors went in and removed a large part of Jordan's leg. Most thought he would never walk again. "The whole time, from day one, we started praying and everybody we knew were praying for him," remembers Lisa, "and we know that was the only thing that helped, that made all that work."
In a few months Jordan was able to walk and even run again. But almost a year after that surgery, Jordan's dad took him in for his regular check-up. "And we went up to the room to talk to the doctor and he came in immediately," remembers father Billy Sanders, "and said I need you to have more scans done. I kinda thought what's wrong with this...he said well he thought someone may have read them wrong to begin with."
When the doctor returned he confirmed Jordan's cancer was back. It had spread from his leg to his lungs. "I just fell backwards into a chair," says Lisa, " I couldn't believe it. After all we had been through with him and he had been doing so well, I just could believe how he could possibly have cancer in his lungs."
This time the doctors said the cancer was so widespread there was no way to surgically remove it. They told the family to go home and enjoy the time they had left. "Now looking back," says Lisa, "I think it was kind of a test of my faith to see how strong I was. If I truly believe and was gonna stick with God and not turn my back on him."
"Lots of prayer," remembers Billy. "You know I spend a lot of time, even at work I get quiet time and pray for strength. Really and truly. That's all I know to do."
This month Jordan was back in class at Gilmer Intermediate School. He gets to wear a cap because the experimental drugs he is now taking has caused his hair to fall out. While his battle is far from over those experimental treatments have stopped the growth of the cancer for now. But it has not stopped his parent's prayers or belief that the power of prayer works.
"Everything happens for a reason," says Lisa. "God has a plan for Jordan. We don't know right exactly what that plan is, but He has a plan."