Please see my attached bio as i believe my story would be of benefit to share. Throughout my health challenges and multiple setbacks I have also found a way to inspire and motivate others, be open to share and receive kindness while trying not to lose sight of my happiness.
It has not been an easy journey and has been filled will many hardships however there are some laughs too, i.e. jumping up to get something for my wife and forgetting to put my leg on, sorry honey you may need to grab that now.
My name is Jordan Lea and my story is about drive, inspiration, and perseverance.
In the last year, I finished the Terry Fox 360, 360 km one day event; Chico Velo Challenge – a trying 100-mile race- first in my category and had qualified for the Canadian Nationals. In the same period, I suffered two major concussions that resulted in a brain bleed, was subsequently hit by a car, and battled the recurrence of a life-threatening infection. Although it was a taxing year filled with both accomplishment and significant setbacks, it is not unlike the last 22 years of my life;
In 1994, at the age of twenty-five, I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins lymphoma. The cancer took four years to cure and forever changed my life and outlook. I’d always been persistent, but the diagnosis caused me to appreciate every day and every person I encountered in a new way. It expanded my views on life and made me challenge myself not just to be the best person I can be, but to help and inspire others around me see and reach their potential.
Following my remission from cancer, I competed as an ultra-athlete in over ten marathons, five ultra-marathons, four Ironman triathlons, and an Ultraman triathlon.
In 2004, a bone infection appeared in my left foot. I fought this infection for nine years with various rounds of IV antibiotics, hospitalizations, surgeries and treatments. Unfortunately, these efforts were unsuccessful in curing the infection.
After those years of struggle, my doctors attempted a trans-metatarsal (front of the foot) amputation to remove the infection in January of 2012. In spite of this, the infection recurred nine months later, leaving my body in septic shock, resulting in a two-month coma. A trans-tibia amputation (just below the knee) was considered the best and only option to eradicate the infection and facilitate my return to an active life. In January 2013, the procedure was performed and my life was undeniably changed.
With each of these setbacks, I pushed myself even harder to get back up and keep working towards my goals. I wanted to prove that I could accomplish them despite all of the obstacles that I faced and show people that regardless of what their situation is, they have the power to persevere. So, I continued to train, strive for success, and maintain a positive attitude even when illness, medications and surgeries made it difficult to work and perform even small daily tasks without support.
Since my amputation, I have had the opportunity to support fellow amputees through public speaking engagements and one-on-one mentorships. As an individual, I am committed to life-long learning and development, while always striving to reach the highest level of personal, professional and community success.
In 2014, eighteen months post-amputation, I competed in my first competition in eight years.
2014 events included:
• June 2014: Canadian Para-cycling Road Championships (2nd place time trial – C4 division)
• July 2014: Vancouver Triathlon (2nd place Team)
• Sept 2014: Sussex England Charity Triathlon (fastest bike split)
I completed my first post-amputation 5km at the Hot Chocolate Run in Seattle, Washington on March 1st, 2015 with a time of 24: 32. I also competed in the invitation only Delfi Sportif preparation camp and the Canadian Cycling Championships in Quebec where I finished with a 2nd place time trial – C4 division.
Due to my doctor’s order and the fear of the infection I was unable to travel to Rio this summer to compete. However, I am now healthy and training with amazing support and doctors and continue to work a full-time job as Operations Manager in Vancouver BC. My 2017 goals are to qualify at the World standard, race internationally as well as inspire others who may not have the support, strength or belief to follow their dreams. I believe that sometimes success comes in the face of challenge, hardship, and uncertainty.