About two weeks ago, the Jonas Brothers visited Lily Jordan, Penn State CrossFit’s THON child, before their Hershey concert. However, Penn State CrossFit’s THON chair Hannah Canil views the meeting in a different way.
“It was not Lily who got to meet the Jonas Brothers,” Canil (senior-biology) said. “The Jonas Brothers got to meet Lily.”
The morning before the Jonas Brothers continued their “Happiness Begins” tour on Aug. 31 — a concert Jordan was supposed to attend but could not due to her chemotherapy treatment for reoccurring osteosarcoma — she posted an Instagram story on her account, @ljsworkinorogress, to describe the situation.
Jordan first posted her Instagram story as a joke to persuade the Jonas Brothers to stop by her room. Little did she know that through the power of social media, the Jonas Brothers saw Jordan’s story and decided to surprise her with a visit at the Hershey Medical Center.
“The whole experience was awesome,” Jordan said. “It made me forget that I was in the hospital for a little bit.”
According to Canil, Jordan’s mother said Jordan’s hospital room has been a place of loneliness, pain and suffering.
However, as soon as the Jonas Brothers walked in Jordan’s room, the space transformed into a place of possibilities, happiness and hope.
Jordan said even if the Jonas Brothers had not visited her, she still felt good knowing a lot of people supported her.
“It just showed how many people support her in everything,” Canil said. “But when [the Jonas Brothers] actually showed up, I don’t think anyone was prepared for it.”
This is not the first time Jordan’s social media has made an impact. In fact, Jordan uses her social media to inform and inspire others who may be facing similar experiences as her.
“She uses her situation to try to help other people who might also be in her situation,” Canil said. “[Her Instagram] is kind of like her own influencer account for people who want to know what pediatric cancer is like in the inside, and she says she wants to try to be the person she would have needed four years ago when she got diagnosed.”
Canil said Jordan is not overly optimistic on her Instagram. Instead, she is very realistic with her followers and is aware of the “ups and downs” cancer has, although she always tries to focus on the upside.
“The cool thing is that I have always been open and vocal about my experiences, and now I have a platform to share them on,” Jordan said. “I can make a difference.”
When describing Jordan, Canil had three words that immediately came to mind: spunky, inspirational and realistic. As Jordan continues to battle cancer, being someone who is inspirational, yet realistic, might be challenging to reinforce.
“She is a 16-year-old that doesn’t try to conform,” Canil said. “I think she has seen too much of how the world actually works to try to fit in the box that most 16-year-old girls try to fit into.
“And I think that even if she wasn’t in the ‘cancer box,’ she’d still be very progressive in saying it is completely okay to be exactly who you are wherever you are, as long as you’re making the most out of it, and I think that’s what she’s doing.”
According to Canil, when Jordan is not in treatment, she attends high school and participates in color guard. To really get a sense of who Jordan is, one can visit her website, www.ljbracelets.com.
On this website, Jordan sells beaded bracelets she makes while she is undergoing chemotherapy treatment during September, which is pediatric cancer awareness month. She makes these bracelets in an effort to raise awareness of pediatric cancer.
All of her proceeds will be donated to cancer awareness and research through the outlet of her choice.
“She is currently in cycles of chemotherapy treatment and is raising money and awareness during that,” Canil said. “She is an awesome kid, and totally grown up for her age.”
Jordan’s friends, family, members of the CrossFit team and other supporters of THON are not the only ones who are wearing Jordan’s beads.
Jordan gave one of her bracelets to Joe Jonas to take home to his wife, Sophie Turner—who Jordan happens to also be a big fan of.
According to her website, for time and production’s sake, the bracelets will have a simple design of two colors per bracelet, one representing Four Diamonds, and four other beads representing the four letters in “Lily.”
The bracelets come in many colors, but each order will contain a random assortment.
Those interested can purchase a handmade bracelet for $5.