Team of people stands beside young female veteran fighting cancer

Nonprofit Love Heals helps local Army veteran Jordan Harris, who was diagnosed with stage 3b Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Published: May. 26, 2023 at 4:50 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Growing up in a small town just north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Jordan Harris lived in a quiet neighborhood where “slow” was a way of life. She recalls the July 4th parade being the highlight of her hometown and being patriotic came with the territory.

Harris joined the Army Reserves in 2014 serving as Religious Affairs. “I loved my job, being able to be in a role that helped soldiers directly. It was more of soldier support than mission support. I was able to stand in the gap for soldiers’ religious preferences and their ability to express their faith was a really cool opportunity.”

After 8 years of serving, Harris made the difficult decision to leave the military and pursue teaching as a civilian. But her ties to the military weren’t going anywhere. Right before she got out, she fell in love with a real “war hero.” Her husband served active duty, also in Religious Affairs, as a drill sergeant in Fort Jackson.

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Life was good. Harris was newly engaged, and fresh into a dream job teaching middle school math. But all her celebrations came to a holt after a doctor visit in 2022.

“I was diagnosed with stage 3b Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It was shocking because this is supposed to be the most healthy part of life in my 20s. We just got engaged a few months back and this was supposed to be a happy time of wedding planning. I’m a teacher going to work and it was a large adjustment having to realize that all those things were going to have to take the back burner,” explained Harris.

Jordan’s husband is serving active duty, so many times she is without her partner in life. “When your body isn’t doing what it’s supposed to do and you have to learn a new normal, it’s really demeaning as a person. There are hard points where you look in the mirror and you feel like your body is a broken vessel,” said Harris.

And just when the lies got loud and the journey began to feel lonely, Harris got a call from the nonprofit ‘Love Heals’ who wanted to help. They wanted to host an event where Jordan would share her testimony and money would be raised to help her medical bills. Jordan was skeptical at first. “I didn’t think I had a story, or a testimony, I’m just a person and so I almost said no because I didn’t want the spotlight.”

Eventually, Jordan agreed. With her blessing, Love Heals organized an event at Crosspoint Church in Lynchburg for a full night of dance, worship, and an opportunity for her community to help with daunting medical bills. Now, Jordan is watching strangers stand up and fight for her. “It’s just a testimony that the Lord puts us right where we need to be and He never leaves us there without support.”