Last spring, Kailua resident Michael-Logan Jordan flew to Washington, D.C. in an effort to encourage Congress to maintain funding for the Arthritis Foundation. He informed them of the startling prevalence of the condition – 50 million adults have been diagnosed in the U.S. – and of the even more startling fact that 300,000 children in the U.S. are affected.
Jordan is one of those kids. He was diagnosed with arthritis at age 3. Now a 14-year-old eighth-grader at Kailua Intermediate School, he has been raising money for the Arthritis Foundation for several years through its annual walk and getting others involved. Last year, he raised $10,000 for the group.
“We have been working hard at it and raising money so that we can educate, advocate and one day eliminate arthritis,” Jordan says.
His involvement with the Arthritis Foundation is just one of a myriad of community service projects that he does. The first he can recall participating in is visiting Toys for Tots with his parents when he was 5 years old. “It clicked in my mind that not many people have many toys,” Jordan says. “From then on, I vowed to donate all of my toys from my birthday to Toys for Tots.”
He also works with groups including a veteran’s homeless shelter and the Lokahi Giving Project to donate supplies and serve food. He also has donated to the Gary Sinise Foundation, which supports veterans and first responders, and inspired the actor/founder to give to the Arthritis Foundation.
Throughout the years, Jordan has received a number of awards – which he always gives away if it involves a prize. Most recently, he won the middle school division of the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, and will travel to Washington in May to compete nationally.
Another honor for Jordan is tomorrow (March 28) at school, on what has been declared Michael-Logan Jordan Day. Although it might be named after him, Jordan’s day is all about honoring others. He will present awards to three students who have demonstrated a dedication to community service.
On top of working with other organizations, Jordan plans to launch his own nonprofit called Heroes to Heroes, which will train and donate service dogs for people who need them. He hopes to get the group up and running within a year. Jordan eventually wants to make a career out of helping others by becoming a pediatric rheumatologist.
Jordan admits that living with arthritis is not always easy. While his friends play football, he can’t join in. He lives with a constant pain – the severity of which varies from day to day. On bad days, he has to walk with a cane. Today is one of those days. As he talks, he is icing his leg. Still, he plans to deliver book drive donations, and then tutor another student in math.
“My cure is to give back and help people,” he says.
To learn more, visit facebook.com/loganshero.