Jordan Ray was a high school softball star. She loved the game, had been playing since she was a kid and was on track to be recruited for a college team, when everything changed. A black out on the field mid-season led to a series of doctors appointments that ultimately led to a life changing diagnosis: she had Chiari Malformation, a serious neurological disorder that would require brain surgery. Her battle with her neurological disorder might not be over, but in her recovery Ray has found her calling – helping other people battling serious medical conditions. Today she runs her Florida-based business Limitless Medical Logs which provides patients with all in one medical logs so they can track their pain and symptoms and ultimately ensure a more accurate treatment plan.
Ray’s story, as told to The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project:
I started playing softball at age 4, and instantly fell in love with the game. By my sophomore year of high school, I was on an elite travel and high school team as a star athlete. But none of that matters when you do not have your health. When I was 16 my mom got diagnosed with breast cancer. It hit me like a truck. Softball was my escape during this hard time and I could not be more blessed and grateful for it. I always thought this would be my toughest battle but I was wrong. When I was 17 my health took an unexpected turn for the worse. I was playing 3rd base in our high school district softball game, I reached for the ball as a bunt was laid down, and then I blacked out on the field.
What followed was a series of doctors appointments, tests, MRIs and CAT scans that ultimately led to my diagnosis: I have Chiari Malformation a serious neurological disorder, in which the brain tissue extends into the spinal canal, present at birth. I was born with this condition but the symptoms that causes excruciating pain did not appear until my black out on the field. The blackout was caused by cerebrospinal fluid being blocked to my brain.
My Neurosurgeon said, “Get ready kid you’re going to be having brain surgery.” Two months later I was signing my will, and then a day later I was in a 9-hour brain surgery and 5+ days in PICU. My first thought and question when I was diagnosed was, “Will I be able to play ball again?”
During these years I watched my family, and myself, struggle to accurately manage how I had been feeling daily, weekly and monthly to report back to my doctor. My appointments felt all over the place, unorganized and we were getting nowhere. As I was going through these health issues I started to slowly create the perfect all in one medical log needed for every person who is battling a serious health issue. Being able to visually see your progress (or non-progress) written down can be very therapeutic; you get the thoughts out of your head instantly instead stressing and trying to remember every detail for your next appointment. I knew I did not want to feel like a statistic. I want to make a difference and help people who are suffering like I am. Three years after my surgery, I am still searching for relief. I am battling dehabilitating symptoms daily and using my medical log to help me take control of my health.
I had the game I absolutely cherished ripped away from me in the blink of an eye. I took this game for granted thinking I would never lose it. My family and I had a lifelong dream of ours coming true – I was going to be a college athlete. But things didn’t turn out as planned. But life will always lead you in a different path for a reason. “It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up” – Vince Lombardi
I define success as if I achieved my goals set, and what type of legacy I will leave behind. I love helping people, that is why I have created this company to help people who are in the same shoes I am in with my health. I am also a softball coach. Being able to coach these girls and help them get better as players and as humans is very rewarding since I had the sport taken away from me in the blink of an eye. Playing softball made me hard on myself as a student-athlete and as a human. I also believe success is when you reach your full potential
My biggest success to date has been launching my company. Since I was a little girl I knew I wanted to own a company. I did not know what it would be, I just knew I wanted to have something that was mine. I always thought I would go to a university and play the sport I loved, but I believe everything happens for a reason. I am now 21, I launched my company at the age of 20 and started building it at age 17. Being so young has caused many challenges but I would not want to be in any other position. My goal for this company and our products is to help every single person battling a chronic health issue take control of their health.
I have had multiple challenges throughout my life so far. My mom got diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 16 I thought that would be the toughest battle I would ever face but I was wrong. My health failed one month after she went into remission. Every challenge me and my family have been faced with we have overcome with strength. We pick each other up. The challenge I am facing now is running a company, this experience is so new to me. I am the type of person that sets their mind to something and then achieves it – no matter what. I do not like failing and I think that has molded me into the person I am due to playing softball for 14+ years.
How I addressed the challenges in my earlier years was through softball. Softball was my escape when my mom had cancer. When I stepped onto the field nothing else mattered and I was able to clear my head from reality for a few hours. For my health issue it was different, I not only lost my health but the game I absolutely cherished. I did not have softball to fall back on as a stress reliever, I used my company the same way as I used softball.
My dad is my biggest role model. He is the hardest working person, the strongest and the most caring. He helped my mom fight through breast cancer, his brother battle colon cancer and now he is helping me with my fight of a serious neurological disorder. He is my biggest fan, from softball to my health to now helping me with my company. My family spent every weekend traveling for softball and they never once complained. I cannot thank him enough for all he has done for me and our family.