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WDAY: The News Leader

Published September 25, 2012, 09:19 PM

A Fargo boy begins his long journey for a double lung transplant

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- A Fargo boy with cystic fibrosis is about to get a chance at a better life. 10-year old Jordan Peterson is suffering from complications that have sidelined him from his favorite activities.

By: Robin Huebner, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- A Fargo boy with cystic fibrosis is about to get a chance at a better life. 10-year old Jordan Peterson is suffering from complications that have sidelined him from his favorite activities.

Jordan's been cleared for a double lung transplant that will bring big challenges for the whole family.

Jordan Peterson loves his fourth grade classroom at Oak Grove, but he'll soon say goodbye for a while, as he and his family temporarily relocate for a life-saving transplant.

Friends and teachers have mixed emotions.

Jordan developed a special bond last year with Ms. Strautz, who got him caught up in the classroom and visited him in the hospital.

Laura Strautz/Jordan's 3rd grade teacher: "He's one of the strongest and bravest kids I've ever met in my life. He really could be an inspiration to a lot of kids.... "

The family's journey will begin with this camper. They'll take it down to Houston, where they'll live in an RV park not far from Texas Children's Hospital. They can't be more than an hour away, in case donor lungs become available.

Jordan: "Happy, I was excited, I was scared... I was nervous... Um, I was thankful that I could be on the list."

Jordan's parents say Texas Children's is the only hospital that will do the surgery because of his young age and his ongoing lung infections.

His lungs are working at just 23 percent right now...like breathing through a tiny straw. It's kept him from playing hockey and chasing around with younger brother Jesse.

Jordan: "Last year I felt good. But now I feel like I'm breathing a lot faster...I'm not getting as much air that I need."

While life for Jordan now is difficult, the transplant and recovery will be too.

Dan/Jordan's dad: "It's one that has it's own set of risks that are scary when you look at the statistics. But it's one that he needs to save his life."

Annette/Jordan's mom: "Hearing um, if we don't go down this road, that he won't be here longer than possibly a year, that's a hard one to take, but ultimately it's his decision.

A tough decision for Jordan, but made with a maturity far beyond his years.

Jordan: "I'd rather have a short and fun life than a long and boring life."

A fundraiser will be held Sunday, October 7th from 2:30-5:30 pm at Oak Grove elementary. The 10 dollar entry fee will help defray the family's medical costs. Checks can also be sent to Bank of the West in Fargo...made out to "Jordan's Journey."

Learn more about Jordan, by reading Robin's story tomorrow in the Forum.

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