Since age 7, Iris Jordan has been living and thriving with polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis, along with other medical conditions that were diagnosed when she was 9: Ehlers-Danlos hypermobility syndrome and pain amplification syndrome. Now 15 and a high school sophomore, Iris endures what most teens can’t even imagine. Yet despite her daily challenges, she has exceptional tenacity, pursuing the things that give her joy while navigating unpredictable pain and fatigue.
Though Iris has faced health-related challenges for more than half her life, she has focused on the many good things in her world. She’s an honors student with an extraordinary aptitude for music; she sings, plays the cello and piano and performs in her high school show choir and orchestra, as well as the Indianapolis Children’s Choir’s Master Chorale. Iris also champions the needs of young people with developmental and intellectual disabilities through her involvement in United Sound and Best Buddies.
Since her diagnoses, Iris has made a remarkable impact as a mentor and leader, showing others that, even with chronic illness, being optimistic and determined can make a difference. Of course, there are highs and lows, including moments of frustration and disappointment that her illnesses are not yet behind her; still, Iris maintains a positive attitude, and her resilience and stamina are proof of her strong spirit.
With a long-standing history of raising awareness that kids get arthritis, too, and educating others about the related conditions she fights, Iris and her Jingle Bell Run team, Rainbow Flower Positive Power, have raised over $30,000 for the Arthritis Foundation. She’s the true definition of “Live Yes!”— inspiring those of all ages who face adversity to live their best life. She keeps looking ahead to what’s next, offering compassion, encouragement and sensitivity along with way. The Arthritis Foundation is thrilled that Iris Jordan is the national honoree of the 2019 Jingle Bell Run.
To learn more about Iris, check our her fundraising page.