Mum in­spires de­ter­mi­na­tion

Townsville Bulletin - - Inside Today - by Alexis Gill­ham

STRONG WILL: Jor­dan Fitzger­ald, 15, with Dad Ja­son and sis­ter Monique, 17, at their Kir­wan home with a pic­ture of Mum Melissa who in­spired Jor­dan’s fundrais­ing ef­forts WHEN Jor­dan Fitzger­ald’s mother was fight­ing cancer she taught him the im­por­tance of a strong will.

It’s for this rea­son that t h e 1 5 - y e a r - o l d h a s stood by his de­ter­mi­na­tion to par­tic­i­pate in Shave for a Cure, even though it stands against his school’s uni­form pol­icy.

Jor­dan was sus­pended from Ryan Catholic Col­lege last year af­ter sign­ing up for the an­nual event to show sup­port for those who had suf­fered like his mum.

The char­ity was the young stu­dent’s way of cop­ing with the dev­as­tat­ing sit­u­a­tion.

J o r d a n ’ s m o t h e r Melissa has since lost her battle against melanoma, af­ter first be­ing di­ag­nosed in 2007.

‘‘ We were very close friends,’’ Jor­dan said of his mother.

‘‘ We are a very close fam­ily.’’

Jor­dan’s fa­ther Ja­son, who sup­ported his son in 2010, said he was proud of the com­mit­ment shown.

Mr Fitzger­ald said the school had stayed quiet on the is­sue this year.

‘‘ They told him they didn’t want to sus­pend him last year but they h a d t o f o l l o w t h e s c hool ’ s p o l i c y , ’ ’ he said. ‘‘ They said it was also the chance for him to have some time out from school.

‘‘ The school has been very sup­port­ive ( since Melissa passed away in June).

‘‘ They have sup­ported the kids and the fam­ily.’’

Jor­dan’s whole fam­ily backed his de­ci­sion to g o a h e a d w i t h t h e World’s Great­est Shave in 2010 and ap­plauded his ef­forts in rais­ing $ 500 for the char­ity.

T h i s y e a r h e h a s raised al­most $ 2600 for the cause.

‘‘ It’s im­por­tant for us, as par­ents, to sup­port him when he feels so p a s s i o n a t e l y a b o u t what is a great cause, as f a r a s we a r e c o n - cerned,’’ Melissa said af­ter his ef­fort last year.

‘‘ I re­spect Ryan and the rules they have – ob­vi­ously I send my chil­dren there for a rea­son – but in this par­tic­u­lar case I think they a r e b e i n g n a r r o w - minded and I think it’s against t he Catholic faith.’’

At the time of her death, Melissa told her s on t o con­tinue his fundrais­ing ef­forts.

Jor­dan’s sis­ter Monique, 17, has also raised $ 800 for cancer through a ‘‘ Girl’s Night In’’ event.

She grad­u­ated from Ryan Catholic Col­lege at the end of last year.

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