Cycle Jordan

If you ask Jordan what his name is, he may respond Michael Jordan. This is probably because of his love for his oldest (and favourite) sister Michael or because his avid love for basketball, sports and fitness. 

We met Jordan this past summer, and immediately noticed how much he loved to do what made him smile and at that moment it was cycling. Something of course anyone paying attention could be inspired by. We spoke and landed on the idea of creating a bike ride where Jordan could see first hand how he inspires each and every person he meets. Inspires people in a way that lets them know it's a great thing when you are your authentic self.

Randomly one day, the idea made clear sense! "Cycle Jordan." Now, if Jordan wanted to, he could call himself Cycle Jordan - making him his own superhero with the power to change the world just like MJ did with basketball. That's all we wanted. We went over to surprise him and received an ecstatic yes. 

Cycle Jordan is a bike ride and fundraiser for Jordan, a teenager with Down syndrome, who has been inspiring his community and putting a smile on people’s faces during these challenging times. 

Jordan is a leader and the heartbeat of his community’s nightly pots and pans cheering. Every night for the last five months,  he has grabbed his drum and cheered for the residents and staff at the Elm Grove Living Center who have been heavily affected by Covid.

His neighbours wait for him to arrive and follow him as he sets the tone for the 10 minute procession.  He has even inspired his two year old neighbour to buy a drum set and drum right next to him, watching and copying every move and hitting every drum beat Jordan makes. 

Jordan  has come to be known and recognized around his community for his dedication and commitment towards uplifting spirits with his gifts --  he has even been featured on CBC’s The National,  CBC’s Canada Day special and the  Globe and mail.

51240846_1601300255612595_r.jpeg(Courtesy of The Globe and Mail)

For Jordan, this isn’t unconventional. Since he was a child, he has always found a way to put a smile on people’s faces by doing what he loves, no matter the limits ascribed to him. 

 Jordan was diagnosed with Down syndrome at six months old. The doctor said he would be developmentally delayed, have low muscle tone, heart trouble and would live a life different from many others.

 “I was devastated when I heard all the things the doctor said my son wouldn’t be able to do,”  Jordan’s mom said. “But I told myself I would do my best with Jordan.”

“Jordan had a hard time crawling and walking. He was two when he started walking but had to use orthopedic braces,” said his mom. “I signed him up for physiotherapy, which helped with his gross motor skills. He began doing speech therapy, however, after pre-kindergarten the sessions were no longer covered and I could not afford to pay for his speech therapy.” 

In spite of the challenges, Jordan continues to thrive. Jordan is a skilled athlete. He runs track with the Special Olympics, he has represented his school in the 100m & 200m at OFSAA and has run a 5km with Kevin Hart. Jordan also loves to ride his bike, which he built and painted himself at a bike-building program for young leaders at Charlie’s Freewheels. He also loves to sing and beatbox. He has come to be known as the boy at the window in his community as he sings at the window for all of his neighbours to hear. 

Jordan is a leader in so many regards and Cycle Jordan is a celebration and a recognition of the positive effects he has and continues to have on those around him. This ride is a moment to celebrate Jordan who dedicates himself to doing what he loves, be it: singing, drumming, dancing or biking. 

It is also a fundraiser to support Jordan. All  ‌funds‌ ‌for‌ ‌Cycle‌ ‌Jordan‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌going‌ ‌towards‌ ‌supporting‌ ‌his ‌speech‌ ‌therapy‌ ‌sessions and will help fund an Integrated Listening System for Jordan’s learning.‌ ‌They‌ ‌will‌ ‌also‌ ‌be‌ ‌going‌ ‌towards‌ ‌investing‌ ‌in‌ ‌Jordan’s‌ ‌desire‌ ‌to‌ ‌take‌ ‌drumming‌ ‌&‌ ‌singing‌ ‌lessons‌.‌ ‌

 “Jordan’s gift is a special gift from God,” said his mom. “I am always learning something new from Jordan.” Cycle Jordan is a reminder that when you let your light shine, you may just bring others together in a special way to do the same.

Presented by The Kickback in partnership with Mandem CC and The Legends League Inc. our goal is to show Jordan that amazing things happen when we do what we love. We want to show him that he's done this all by being himself. Any and every contribution will go a long way as we work towards making this an annual bike ride to empower Jordan and other youth here in Toronto facing barriers on their journey to becoming their best.

Cycle Jordan is a reminder for everyone to just hop on their bike, be happy, and see where life takes you.

If you read this far, we want to thank you for the genuine care and interest in supporting the first annual Cycle Jordan.

- The Kickback, Mandem CC, The Legends League & The Matty Jae Youth Foundation


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The Kickback 
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