There is a project taking place within the confines of Chick Evans Field House designed to challenge the student body at NIU.
The project is being led by NIU head women’s basketball coach Jane Albright-Dieterle, who is asking that at least 2,000 fans attend NIU’s match-up with North Star Conference leader Wisconsin-Green Bay Thursday at 7 p.m.
But, the game, which is the last game of NIU’s 1991-92 regular season, is not the reason why Albright-Dieterle has issued the challenge. Bob Jordan is.
Who is Bob Jordan, you ask? Bob Jordan is a graduate student and a Spanish 101 teacher at NIU who has been in a battle to raise enough money to pay for a pancreas transplant.
Jordan needs to raise $150,000 to pay for the operation because his insurance will not pay for the procedure, saying that it is “experimental.”
Jordan has developed neuropathy, which is nerve damage in his legs. The damage was due to diabetes and has resulted in Jordan having to have his right leg amputated. The neuropathy is now spreading to his arms and even into his internal organs.
As each day passes by, Jordan comes closer to having permanent paralysis or possibly even death. Even now, he has begun to feel numbness in all of his limbs.
Jordan’s illness is unusual in that there is no definite time frame as to when he could suddenly get worse.
The main problem for Jordan has been raising money. As of February 12th, Jordan had only been able to raise $14,000 since last November.
It was then that Jordan enlisted the help of NIU in his effort to raise the money.
Why then, the 2,000 students? Because Albright-Dieterle has said that if 2,000 NIU students show up for the game on Thursday, she will personally donate $500 to the Bob Jordan Pancreas Transplant Fund.
For Albright-Dieterle, this is an opportunity for her to give something back to the NIU community, something she felt compelled to do.
“I’m happy to be in the position that I’m in,” Albright-Dieterle said. “We want to give something back to (the NIU community) and also give us a cause to unite us all.
“We want to tie the student body into this cause to help a fellow student. We will have a fund raiser going on that night and (the evening) can be called “Bob Jordan Night” as far as I’m concerned.”
Student Association Public Relations Adviser Rebecca Bahr said that Albright-Dieterle called her after hearing about Jordan’s situation.
“Coach Albright-Dieterle instigated (the idea),” Bahr said. “She had heard about Bob Jordan and wanted to know what she could do to help.
“He (Jordan) is a diabetic. He is slowly losing feeling in all of his appendages. The SA and Alpha Kappa Lambda Fraternity are cosponsoring the drive to mobilize the whole university in this drive.”
The fund raiser taking place at the game includes two types of donations. Students and non-students alike can offer individual donations for the cause. There will be cans which students can donate money into. Also, group donations will be handled at halftime of the game.
For a basketball standpoint, the game promises to be intense as NIU tries to hand UW-GB its first conference loss of the season.