Young Edmontonian with terminal illness dreams of seeing Eiffel Tower

By Adam Ziccarelli

Jordan Gagnon dreams of travelling to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower.

The 12-year-old Edmonton girl has giant axonal neuropathy (GAN), a rare terminal illness that attacks the nervous system.

After being diagnosed with GAN, Jordan created a list of things she wanted to accomplish.

She said the idea to visit Paris came out of nowhere when she turned seven.

“I don’t know how it came to be. I just want to see it,” she said.

Edmonton girl Jordan Gagnon, 12, at fundraiser on March 4, 2023. (Credit: CityNews/Adam Ziccarelli)

A fundraiser in downtown Edmonton Saturday got Jordan one step closer to seeing France’s iconic landmark.

“To me it means, yay my dream’s come true,” she said.

Getting closer to checking items off Jordan’s list was made possible after a chance encounter with a substitute teacher.

“I was wheeling down the hallway and I saw a little girl in a wheelchair,” recounted Brittney Neunzig, who organized Saturday’s fundraiser. “And we just locked eyes because you don’t often see two people in wheelchairs in a school. And so I immediately was like, ‘who is this? I know I have to meet her.’”

Teacher Brittney Neunzig at fundraiser for Jordan Gagnon on March 4, 2023. (Credit: CityNews/Adam Ziccarelli)

Neunzig’s objective is make Jordan’s dreams become a reality without financially burdening her family.

“The goal for the fundraiser is mostly just to get Jordan to be able to do whatever is on her bucket list,” she said. “Because I don’t know what that’s like to have to make a bucket list with a 12-year-old.”

When speaking about her list and having goals in life, Jordan’s message was short and simple.

“Always follow your dreams,” said the girl. “Always think it’s coming, it’s coming, it’s coming.”

Jordan Gagnon’s Paris fundraiser on March 4, 2023. (Credit: CityNews/Adam Ziccarelli)

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