The Linsky Family

A Gift of Hope

 Jordan Linsky winced when they removed the cast from her foot. The pain was excruciating for the 12-year-old -- even worse than when she broke it. Over the next few weeks, her foot swelled and turned black and blue, all except for her middle toe.  Something was terribly wrong. Her parents, Mark and Mary Jane (MJ), were worried sick.

To diagnose Jordan’s condition, the Orthopedic team at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego partnered with other specialists at the Hospital, including rehabilitation medicine specialists, radiologists and cardiologists. Jordan needed a series of tests, including vascular studies, blood tests, ultrasound and a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan.

When the Linksys were told what their daughter had, they were stunned.

“I broke down and cried in my closet—where Jordan couldn’t see or hear me—because watching her suffer was heart breaking,” MJ says.

At the same time, Mark and MJ were grateful and relieved to have a diagnosis so treatment could start. “We had tremendous faith in Jordan’s doctors at Rady Children’s,” Mark says.

Jordan had complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), a condition that can affect a limb following an injury or trauma. Symptoms include severe pain, swelling and changes in color and temperature of the affected limb.

Her treatment, which would last six months, included physical therapy, acupuncture and biofeedback. During this time, Mark and MJ were touched by the children, families and staff they encountered at the Hospital.

“We saw children battling life-threatening diseases who were so positive about the future,” Mark says. “And the staff was amazing at every turn. The environment was one of hope rather than sadness and despair. We were all affected by it.”

Thanks to the correct diagnosis and immediate treatment, Jordan’s recovery has been so complete she played soccer for Soka University of America her freshman year, even winning a small athletic scholarship because of her talents.  This year she has moved along to track and field and has excelled at distance running events.

“Jordan’s a fighter. She never gave up, even when she had setbacks with CRPS,” MJ says. “When we watch her playing goalie on the soccer field, it’s hard to imagine we were once told she may never play soccer again.”

To make a meaningful difference for all the children at the Hospital who are sick or injured, Mark and MJ decided to leave a lasting legacy at Rady Children’s.  They created a Charitable Remainder Unitrust, a trust which provides the Linskys with income during their lifetime, passing a portion of the remainder to Rady Children’s.  This trust will ensure that the best medical care is provided at the Hospital for many years to come.

“It’s a gift of hope,” MJ says.