A family’s journey
Jordan Cotton (front, centre) was born with a rare heart complication that left him with quadriplegic spastic cerebral palsy but that doesn’t stop him from wanting to see more of the world. So, he and his family invited the whole community to their fundraiser to help cover the cost of a custom vehicle with a wheelchair ramp. Also pictured from the left, Angela Cotton, Jordan’s mother, Amber Cotton-Sommer, Jordan’s sister, Chris Cotton, Jordan’s brother, Josh Sommer, Jordan’s brother-in-law and Jordan’s father, Paul Cotton. Glover photo
WINCHESTER – For 20 years, since the day he was born, Jordan Cotton’s journey has been an uphill battle. Since birth, Cotton has had to deal with the difficulty of limited independence and freedom from the confines of his wheelchair after a rare heart complication left him with quadriplegic spastic cerebral palsy. However, the residents of Winchester would paint a completely different picture of him.
People usually describe Cotton as enthusiastic, fun and funny, with a smile that could light up the darkest room. A chatterbox who can talk your ear off about anything that sparked up the conversation.
With his recent graduation from North Dundas District High School, there is a growing need for more independence and freedom for the next chapter in his life – seeing more of the world. So, along with a GoFundMe page, Cotton’s family organized a fundraiser Sat., May 25 to support the costs of accessible transportation, a custom vehicle equipped with an accessible ramp with an approximate cost of $60,000.
“Mobility is a challenge for me,” said Cotton. “Getting out and getting around is a real challenge for me. I’m hoping this fundraiser will give me more freedom, opening some more doors and opportunities.”
During the fundraiser, attendees were offered a dinner from Lone Star, along with silent and live auction with items donated from residents and different local businesses. Halfway through the fundraiser, the Cotton family were invited up to the stage to say a few words to the residents of North Dundas who came out to support their cause.
“Years ago, when we moved from Prince Edward Island and (were) looking for a small community in Ontario when I got the new job with the fire service,” said Paul Cotton, Jordan’s father. “We looked around [at] a lot of communities in the area and when we found Winchester, we thought it was a lot like what we came from and I thought we could fit in there. From what I’ve seen here tonight, this shows that we picked the right community.”
“It takes a community to raise a family and that is what I see here tonight,” added Angela Cotton, Jordan’s mother. “From the bottom of all our hearts, we want to thank you for your generosity and your time, to come here tonight means the world to us. What you’ve done and what you’ve contributed to Jordan’s journey, you won’t understand the depth of gratitude he has for this. This will open up so many doors for him.”
Jordan closed out the speeches to thank the community himself for all they’ve contributed to his cause.
“I just want to thank everyone from friends and family to the people who donated the items up for auction, you all don’t know how much this means to me,” he said. “This is going to open up so many doors and all I can say is thank you to everyone who came out and supported me and my dreams.”
Reporter/Photographer for Chesterville Record and Eastern Ontario Agrinews. Currently working on Record segment, “Chilling Tales from Beyond”