Barnwell boy meets NFL quarterback Peyton Manning through Make-A-Wish

By: Katie Beasley Email
By: Katie Beasley Email
Jordan Jackson with Peyton Manning

Jordan Jackson, of Barnwell, was excited to meet Colts Quarterback Peyton Manning. Jordan's request was made possible through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. (WRDW-TV / Nov. 9, 2011)

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011

BARNWELL, S.C. -- When Jordan Jackson got to make a wish, he knew immediately what it would be -- he wanted to go to Indianapolis and meet Colts Quarterback Peyton Manning.

The 11-year-old loves football, but a trip to the doctor's office last year was a game-changer for the sixth grader.

"Jordan was diagnosed last June with a rare type of cancer called synovial sarcoma, which is a cancer of the soft tissue. He had it in his right arm," explained Jordan's mother LaShanda Jackson.

Jordan's cancer meant he couldn't be the quarterback for his little league football team this year.

"He's very active and he's had to convert to his left hand. He can still throw a football but he can't play organized sports right now because of his hand ... but he's still a good sport about everything," LaShanda said.

This past weekend Jordan was able to have a dream come true, thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

LaShanda said the weekend was amazing for her son.

"When Peyton Manning walked out, seeing the smile on Jordan's face ... it was just unbelievable. I mean, he talks about Peyton Manning, he knows everything about him, and just seeing how his face lit up when he walked through the door ... it was just something priceless, something you'll never forget," LaShanda said.

"This is the jersey that I wore to the practice facility and I got him to autograph the back of it," showed off Jordan.

Jordan's first question for the injured quarterback was when he will be back on the field.

"I asked him, like will he be playing next year for the season. He said he's gonna try. He said me and him would get better together," explained Jordan.

"I'll get better and you'll get better. We'll get better together, how about that? That sound like a deal? Give me a hug man. Thank y'all for coming," Manning told Jordan.

"It meant a lot. Cause it's like he really cared about him as a person," LaShanda said.

Jordan and two other boys also got to meet the entire Colts team.

"When practice was over, the players literally ran to the sidelines to meet and greet the kids and they wanted to hug them and autograph whatever they had, take pictures," explained LaShanda.

"This is the NFL football that I got from the team," showed off Jordan.

They're a few priceless memories form a day Jordan will never forget.

Jordan is now the coolest kid in town. He says everyone at school has been asking to see the pictures of his trip. Jordan also got to stay in town for the Sunday match-up against the Falcons. He said it was awesome except for ... the Falcons winning.

Doctors were able to remove all of the cancer, so he's currently in remission. He's got a third surgery coming up next month to try and restore full function in that right hand. His family hopes he's back on the football field next fall.

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