Most out-of-towners running through Times Square are just trying to catch a tour bus -- but one Mid-western 17-year-old ran through the crossroads of the world Tuesday for a different reason: cancer.
Jasmine Jordan, known online as “Jazzy” ran from coast to coast of the United States in order to gain awareness of the St. Christopher’s Truckers Development and Relief Fund.
The Dalton, Minn., native began her run in Los Angeles and made her way cross-country until she ended up in the Big Apple, and her dash could make her the youngest person ever to run from coast to coast.
However, that isn’t the reason why Jordan decided to take on this journey.
The teen's parents own a small trucking and car company and they had a driver and family friend named Sheila Grothe who grew ill and couldn’t afford the appropriate treatment. Grothe passed away on April 17, 2009.
Jordan had been training in hopes to participate in the 2012 Olympics in London and when she learned of Grothe’s death, she put her plans on hold and began her quest to bring attention to the St. Christopher’s Fund.
The organization -- named after St. Christopher, the Patron Saint of travelers -- is a not-for-profit organization that provides financial assistance to professional truck drivers who have medical problems and cannot otherwise afford health care. It's estimated that 70 percent of the more than 3.5 million professional truck drivers in the United States have one or more serious health problems.
“Growing up in a trucking family environment I do understand the need for truckers and all involved in the trucking business to stay healthy, as that’s the way they make a living and make it possible for many others to make a living as well,” said Jordan.
The journey wasn’t easy as the teen faced sweltering heats that her father described in excess of 118 degrees and dust storms with 70 mile per hour winds in New Mexico. The teen even suffered a stress fracture, but has been running since Dec injury free.
She kept her studies up via Skype and online learning tools and plans to return to Dalton, Minn., to finish her senior year of high school.
Upon completing her 3000-mile run, the teen exclaimed, “I’m very emotional. It’s going to be hard to go back to what it was before the run.”
Her father, who has supported her every step of the way, literallly driving behind her -- hugged his daughter tightly after she crossed the finish line wearing Grothe’s old jacket.
“Most daughters look up to their fathers and you’re their hero, but in my house, my daughter is my hero," he gushed.