Lisa and John Bynum with Jayden and Jade

Jordan Center | Fall 2011 Spotlight |

Four-year-old Jayden came to the Jordan Center in August 2010 through More At Four (now the N.C. Pre-Kindergarten Program). That winter his parents, Lisa and John Bynum, told him a new sibling was on the way. The news was especially joyful since the couple had lost two babies, one before and one after Jayden’s birth.

But their happy anticipation turned to alarm when Lisa’s water broke during her 24th week of pregnancy. WakeMed doctors recommended immediate hospitalization, hoping to hold off delivery for another 10 weeks—critical time for a baby’s development. In spite of their efforts, Jade was born at 25 weeks on March 16, weighing 1 lb., 6 oz. Lisa and John spent every day with Jade at WakeMed’s neonatal intensive care unit and, briefly, at Duke as surgeons inserted a shunt in her skull to treat hydrocephalus. Jade’s health and recovery were their immediate priority. Then, in May, still two months before Jade would be well enough to go home, John woke one morning with chest pains. He dropped Jayden at the Jordan Center and drove himself to the hospital; a battery of tests later revealed he had malignant thymoma—a cancer of the thymus. He started chemotherapy immediately.

As the family struggled with two major medical crises, Jayden’s daycare tuition ran out in May with the close of the More At Four school year. The Bynums couldn’t afford the Jordan Center tuition, and it looked like they’d have to pull him out. But a gift from the Methodist Orphanage/Methodist Home for Children Alumni Association allowed Jayden to stay in care until he started kindergarten in the fall. Those three months of tuition were a blessing for the family, Lisa says.

“I didn’t have anyplace else for Jayden to go, and he could only come to the hospital once a week for an hour,” she says. “The folks at the Jordan Center knew what was going on, and they were so sweet and accommodating. If I needed to drop him off early or pick him up later, it was fine, and that gave me one less thing to worry about.”

Now that Jayden has started school and Jade is home, life is calmer for the Bynums. Daily hospital visits have ceased, although Jade and John still have doctor’s appointments. John has completed three chemotherapy treatments and awaits CT scan results to determine if the tumor is small enough to remove. They’ve moved into a home of their own, and Lisa is studying to become a medical assistant.

“If it weren’t for the Jordan Center and the alumni gift, I don’t know what I would have done,” she says.