Local teen collecting gifts for Edmonton hospital patients

A local teenager is encouraging Stettler residents to share the joy of Christmas with patients at Edmonton’s Stollery Children’s Hospital.

Jordan Church

Jordan Church

A local teenager is encouraging Stettler residents to share the joy of Christmas with patients at Edmonton’s Stollery Children’s Hospital.

Jordan Church, 16, began a campaign this month to collect donations of toys and other gifts for patients at Stollery, inspired by the children and teens she met there on her recent stays at the hospital.

Diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, Church has been back and forth to the hospital over the last six months for testing and examination.

“I realized that lots of these kids will be in the hospital over the holidays,” she said, adding that she was motivated to something to help them.

Over the month of December, she has partnered with several local businesses, including Old Fashioned Candy and Scrapbooking, run by her aunt Wendy Kistner.

The store is serving as a drop-off point and is welcoming donations of toys and other gifts for young hospital patients.

They will collect these items until the store closes at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 20, as well as cash donations, which will be used to purchase additional items.

The store will also have a draw that afternoon for a couple of prizes: an elegant dinner for eight from Brenda’s Country Catering, or a children’s gift basket sponsored by Wells Furniture, Gilbert Financial Services, Brenda’s Cozy Café, Heartland Youth Centre and Old Fashioned Candy and Scrapbooking.

Kistner said the response so far has been positive, adding that Jordan has been “overwhelmed by the support that she’s getting.”

Church and her parents, Dale and Corinne, who live on an acreage outside of Stettler, will take the donations to Edmonton next week.

Kistner explained that gifts intended for teenage patients are very welcome, noting that they’re sometimes forgotten when gifts are brought to the hospital.

Jordan said she noticed that children staying at the hospital often get attached to the toys that are there, only to have to leave them behind when they check out.

“I want to give them something they can take home with them,” she said.

As her condition has progressed, Jordan, a Grade 11 student, has been unable to attend school, work or dance.

She was examined by 10 different doctors before they reached a diagnosis.

She is having trouble with her mobility, experiencing dystonia, or involuntary contractions, on her left side. The condition has also affected her eyesight and her balance.

Corinne Church said her daughter is currently being medicated with steroids and muscle relaxants in an attempt to control the disorder.

Jordan and her family expressed their appreciation to all those who have donated thus far and the businesses that have supported their efforts.

For more information, including a list of suggested donations, look up Jordan’s Journey on Facebook.