MLB All-Star John Olerud's 19-year-old daughter Jordan has died after facing a rare chromosome disorder since her birth in August 2000. The news was confirmed on Twitter by Jay Horwitz, vice president of alumni public relations for the New York Mets.
"I'm constantly amazed at her disposition," Olerud said during a 2005 conversation with the Boston Globe. "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."
Olerud and his wife Kelly started a foundation together to provide support to special needs children and their families. The Jordan Fund has provided grants to those unable to cover the medical costs for a child diagnosed with the rare disease. Jordan had visited the hospital several times throughout her life, and Olerud knew the toll that the financial aspect could place on a family.
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.
Back in 2014, the Jordan Fund provided a $50,000 grant for the Inspiration Playground project in Bellevue, Washington. The purpose of this donation was to help build an all-inclusive outdoor play environment and sensory garden at the Bellevue Downtown Park. The project cost $4.3 million in total. This news was revealed by a press release from the Rotary Club of Bellevue.
Olerud spent 17 years in Major League Baseball. He played for the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Mets, Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. He was named All-Star in 1993 and 2001 and won the World Series in 1992 and 1993 with the Blue Jays. Olerud was also inducted into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007.
(Photo Credit: Alex Trautwig/MLB via Getty Images)