Midstate girl who lost leg to cancer keeps raising money for others fighting it

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A Midstate teenager is helping create a line of fountain drinks to help others.

The front of the house at Appalachian Brewing Company in Mechanicsburg Sunday hid the real work going on behind the scenes — Lily Jordan’s work.

“It’s really cool that I’m able to use the voice that I have in order to help out a little bit,” Jordan said.

She found that voice last July when she was 12.

“Everybody thinks like, ‘Oh, people get cancer, but it could never happen to me. It could never happen to me,'” she said. “And that’s of course what I thought.”

It could. It did. Lily had two tumors in her knee and femur.

“It required me to get my leg amputated above the knee,” she said, explaining it was a better option for her compared with a knee replacement, which would have made sports more difficult.

“My birthday is October 19 and my amputation was October 14, so it was like, happy birthday,” she said with a laugh.

Now 13, her chemotherapy’s done and she’s already moving well on her prosthetic leg.

Artie Tafoya, director of operations at ABC and husband of Lily’s fourth-grade teacher, approached her. He asked if she wanted to create her own line of sodas and donate the proceeds to Penn State Hershey Medical Center. “And I said yes,” Lily said, “because that sounds super fun.”

“A dollar from every soda goes to the child life program,” Tafoya said, estimating they’ll come up with several thousand dollars for the hospital’s program.

“Anything that a child asks for in the hospital, most likely the child life department can provide for them,” child life assistant for the hospital Jennifer Shearn said.

This is not the first stream of funding Lily has helped provide for cancer patients, and at just 13, you can bet it won’t be her last.

All those purple ribbons lining the roads in Camp Hill? Support for Team Lily at Thon this year. And remember the Camp Hill softball home run derby last October? That was just one of a number of fundraisers supporting Penn State Hershey’s Four Diamonds program in Lily’s name.

More flavors of Lily’s Sodas will come out later this year, the next one a Shirley Temple, all of them created and tasted by Lily.

“It’s not just for me,” she said. “It’s for all the other kids who are fighting cancer.”

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