Spotlight on the Jordan Thomas Foundation

Putting Smiles on the Faces of Children and Their Parents

An Interview With Jordan Thomas, Founder

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Jordan ThomasAmputee News: What is the Jordan Thomas Foundation, and what does the organization do? 
Jordan Thomas: I started the Jordan Thomas Foundation while I was in the hospital recovering from the loss of both of my legs below the knee in a family boating accident. Knowing that all of my needs would be provided by my family, yet seeing other children go home without the prostheses that they needed, made me want to do something to help them. My foundation, which I started five years ago, now supports five children with prostheses through the age of 18 (their growth years) at an estimated cost of $100,000-$120,000 per child. My foundation also has a partnership with a rehab clinic in Haiti that provides 8-10 prostheses a week.

AN: How much does it normally cost to help a family?          

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JT: Anywhere from $100,000-$120,000, depending on the age and need of each child. The foundation hosts an annual event that normally nets over $80,000, which allows one more recipient to be helped each year. We normally have this much money in the bank before we choose another child to assure that we can provide for them into the future.

AN: What is it like to tell a family that your organization is going to provide prosthetic devices to their child free of charge?

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JT: It’s exhilarating. It’s a wonderful feeling to provide for these kids and to help them lead normal, active and happy lives.   Seeing Alaina, the first recipient, walk on two new legs has been one of the highlights of my life. There is nothing better than to see a child move around and be free from the constraints of crutches and wheelchairs.

AN: How can a person get more information on the Jordan Thomas Foundation?

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JT: Visit our Web site at jordanthomasfoundation.org. On it are several CNN videos that feature me and the foundation’s work.  There are also photos of each recipient and a brief bio about each one. You may also e-mail info@jordanthomasfoundation.org for more information or help with any questions.

AN: Why did you start the Jordan Thomas Foundation?

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JT: I was in the hospital and saw this incredible need that I knew I could meet. It just made absolute sense at the time that this is what I should be doing. My friends and family helped me set up the foundation, and it took off from there. There is nothing greater than seeing a child walk and run.

Jordan ThomasAN: What is your vision for the organization’s future?

JT: To help as many kids as I can. I also want to change the healthcare system so that prosthetics are provided as normal coverage.

AN: How can others help the organization fulfill its mission?

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JT: They can spread the message about this work by telling their friends and family. Send people to the Web site for more information. Donate, and help make it happen for more children.

AN: What’s the best thing a recipient of a prosthetic device ever said to you? 

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JT: I received a thank you note from Ruby that said, “Dear Jordan Thomas. Thank you for my leg. I like to dance with my new leg.  Love, Ruby.” It’s on the Web site. Anytime we can help someone dance, then it’s all worthwhile.

AN: What advice would you give other people who want to do something to benefit others?

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JT: That it starts internally, inside you. That you can’t just think it up and make it happen. It’s a heart issue, a calling. It really starts at the micro level, and the rest follows. It helps to have perseverance and the desire to help others. I think my parents taught me that.

Start with yourself – it makes things happen. Then add a bit of determination, and you will find unlimited possibilities.

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