Baseball Hall of Famer John Olerud's daughter Jordan, 19, dies after battling rare chromosome disorder
The teenage daughter of Baseball Hall of Famer John Olerud has passed away following a prolonged battle with a rare chromosome disorder. She was 19.
Jordan Olerud was born with a unique chromosome syndrome called tri-some 2p, 5p, which meant she had an extra second chromosome and was missing part of her fifth chromosome.
Her tragic passing was confirmed on Twitter by Jay Horwitz, vice president of alumni public relations for the New York Mets, for whom Olerud played from 1997 and 1999.
"Please keep John and Kelly Olerud in your thoughts. The Oleruds' 19-year-old daughter, Jordan, passed away, She was born with a rare chromosome disease. John and Kelly have devoted their lives to working with children with special needs," a statement read.
"So sad to hear about the passing of Jordan Olerud," Horowitz tweeted. "To honor John, Kelly and Jordan you can contribute at http://JordanFund.org. Services for Jordan will be this Saturday."
The 'Jordan Fund' mentioned in the tweet was launched by Olerud and his wife Kelly in 2003 following the birth of their daughter and gives out grants to families who are incapable of covering the medical costs for children who are diagnosed with the rare disorder.
"The fund’s mission is to provide support to special needs children and their families," a description on the website reads. "John & Kelly have experienced first hand what an enormous task it is to care for a child with special needs, and what a huge burden it can place on families."
"John & Kelly are so grateful to the Lord for giving them a firm foundation of family, friends and the financial means to help care for Jordan. As a result, John & Kelly want to reach out to help families of children with special needs. They decided to act on this wish by creating the Jordan Fund."
Its past grants include those given out a neurodevelopmental center that provides comprehensive services for children with special needs, an adaptive Riding and Hippotherapy center, to help improve the bodies of special needs children, and an organization that provides free musical instruction to children with disabilities in the New York City area.
Speaking about her in a 2005 interview with the Boston Globe, Olerud, who is also a father to two more children, a son, and another daughter, had praised Jordan's tenacity and will.
"I'm constantly amazed at her disposition," he had said. "She's uncomfortable, she's having a hard time… but yet, she's got a smile for you. I'm really blessed to have a child like her."
Jordan is survived by her parents, sister Jessica and brother Garrett.