Angela Cotton, Jordon’s mother watches as he backs his motorized chair into his new van. The moment was a special one as the van arrived on Thurs., Oct. 8 to be greeted by Jordon’s family and friends. Morin photo

Joseph Morin

Record Staff

On Thurs., Oct. 8, Jordon Cotton began the next chapter of his journey.

Thanks to a generous community, his family’s fundraising efforts over the past year to raise funds to buy a specially equipped van resulted in the delivery of the van to his home. Surrounded by family and friends, Jordon took his first ride in the van that will allow him a greater amount of freedom that he has not had up to this point in his life. By the end of the day, he had driven all over the village.

“It’s really cool. I have been going out for drives every day. I am just enjoying the freedom it gives me, and once COVID clears up, we are thinking about our first big trip in it to go back to PEI. It has really opened up so many doors for me,” Jordon said.

His journey began as all do, with his birth, but he had heart complications that left him with quadriplegic spastic cerebral palsy.

Jordon overcame challenge after challenge as he grew from a child into the young man he is today. Confined to a wheelchair his reality was limited.

He graduated from North Dundas District High school in 2018.

His family realized he would need more opportunities to grow, and to do that he would need to find a way to see more of the world.

They started out on a fundraising campaign called Jordon’s Journey. Their goal, which was realized last week, was to get Jordon a specially designed van that would allow him and his wheelchair to get around with as little fuss as possible.

It was a special moment, not only for Jordon but for the entire North Dundas community who all helped to raise the necessary funds for the purchase of the van.

“He has surpassed everything that they thought he could do,” said Jordon’s mother Angela. The doctors felt that it was too much to expect him to be able to talk and walk, but he managed to do both as he grew.

His desire to be part of the world, and to experience as much of it as he could, prompted the need for more mobility.

The van has not had much rest since it arrived. Jordon has toured the village several times already. The van design allows him to scoot into it with a wheelchair ramp and to position his chair in the front passenger seat.

In the past, his wheelchair would have had to be lifted into the trunk of a car and Jordon lifted in a car.

The possibilities the van represent are just about endless.

His mother said they have gone to McDonald’s and driven all over Winchester.

“It is pretty amazing,” she said. “And this is just the beginning,” she added.

The van that was purchased included its conversion.

It was purchased completely ready to go from Universal Motion in Toronto.

It is a brand new 2019 van.

The total cost of the van ended up being $50,978 with $15,000 of that covered by a one-time-only grant from the March of Dimes.

Angela said, “We were lucky the van was one that had not been sold and was one that Jordon wanted.”

She jokingly explained that now it is really Mom’s Taxi service in her household.

Jordon’s family, mother Angela, father Paul, sister Amber and brother Chris are thrilled to be able to take Jordon along on their adventures.

The van changes many things for Jordon and his family.

In the past, if he wanted to go along for grocery shopping it was a fairly complicated process, Now he just has to drive into his van and drive out at the grocery store, then use his motorized wheel chair to navigate around the store.

“He has never had the opportunity to go and just be a young man,” said Angela.

“Now he can take his power chair anywhere.”

His mother mentioned that so many area businesses helped out with donations to their fundraising campaigns with items for silent auctions.

The success of Jordon’s Journey says a great deal about the generosity of the North Dundas community.