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Finding A Purpose With Chiari Malformation

I have been an athlete since I was 4, instantly falling in love with softball after one practice. By age 8, I had a set goal and mindset to be a D1 college athlete. Softball was how I identified myself; it was all I knew.

During my sophomore year, I watched my mom battle and beat breast cancer. I was 16 and just had an incredible freshman year. I used softball as my escape during this tough time.

Three weeks after my mom went into remission, April 13th, 2015, I unexpectedly blacked out on the softball field playing my position, 3rd base. Fast forward to August, I had experienced 50 migraines straight from April to August. I sat in my neurosurgeon’s office in extreme pain, confused, and angry. He sent me for testing, and I came back five days before my 18th birthday to a diagnosis of Chiari Malformation: a serious neurological disorder where the cerebellum extends into the spinal canal.

Three months later, I was being rolled into a 10+ hour brain surgery.

I always get asked how I found my purpose. I was paving the way to be a D1 athlete, but I was derailed with major health issues. Softball got me out of bed every day; it made me excited about my future. When I lost my health and my sport in less than three seconds, it made me realize that it is not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.

I wanted to make a difference and help people. I saw the need for my company, Limitless Medical Logs, to help others who are in my shoes battling a chronic health issue and allow them to take control of their health.

September is Chiari Awareness month, and our ribbon color is purple. The town where I live has lit the town clock purple for the whole month of September, to help me in my mission of spreading awareness about this rare illness. I have found my purpose, which is to help people. From my all-in-one medical logs, to speaking on stages inspiring others to never give up, to spreading awareness about my illness, I have something to live for.

Follow Jordan on Instagram and Twitter for more: @JordanRay25

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