Netball more than a game for Dexter woman - Fox 2 News Headlines

Netball more than a game for Dexter woman

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© Jordan Keen  (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com) © Jordan Keen (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com)

20-year-old Jordan Keen was born to compete, but little did she know that a debilitating genetic condition would change her life and her passion.

"Had these big dreams.  I would love, love to play basketball for our middle school team, love to play basketball for a high school, and I could play basketball in college," she said.

A twisted knee during a family ski outing in 2004 lead to a life altering diagnosis.  Jordan had reflex sympathetic dystrophy or RSD, a miss communication within her nervous system that left her immobilized and in constant, excruciating pain.

"It's the worst pain that I've ever experienced.  I think I described it one time, it's kind of like if somebody's ripping your limb apart," she explained.

For Jordan, that was only part of what hurt the most.

"The whole life that I knew was really pulled out from under my feet," she said.  "Telling this athlete who loves to move that you may never walk again was very, very distressful."

By 2008, Jordan underwent a life altering surgery at the Cleveland Clinic and with the help of a permanent spinal cord stimulator, she has been living 100-percent pain free ever since.

But getting back to life as she knew it wouldn't include basketball or any other contact sports.  That's when she learned about netball, a non-contact game that looks like basketball, but feels a little like ultimate frisbee.

"To let my athlete run free and push the limits, I love to push the limits, whether it's jumping higher, getting the ball and working as a team.  My team here at the Ann Arbor Y is a huge part of who I am," she told us.

"Just watching her practice like this will make me cry.  To see her enjoying life, enjoying what she loves to do.  It's a miracle," her mother said.

Just last weekend, Jordan's competitive dream became a reality as she was one of twelve players named to represent Team USA Netball in the upcoming World University Championships this July in South Africa.

"This is an incredible opportunity.  Netball is the world's widest played women's sport, actually," she said.

From basketball to netball to advocate, Jordan Keen has lived in the dark, but now she's committed to sharing her light.

"I know how terrifying it is because I was there, and I know what it's like to land in a hospital bed and have no idea what's going on," she said.  "If somebody five years ago had told me that hold on because you will have run a marathon and you will be a player on a national team, get the chance to represent the country when you play against the world, I wouldn't have believed them.  But believe, believe that there is something bigger."

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