Family of Florida boy who died from brain-eating amoeba hosts Christmas giveaway

Jordan's Sporting Goods Store to help children in need

By Adrienne Cutway - Web Editor, Troy Campbell - Reporter

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. - The parents of an 11-year-old Florida boy who died from a brain-eating amoeba are setting up a store to give sporting goods to children in need in honor of their son's memory.

Steve and Michelle Smelski said their son, Jordan Smelski, wanted every child to have gifts on Christmas, which is why they've set up Jordan's Sporting Goods Store. On Saturday and Sunday, the store will be open for children and families to receive new and gently used sporting equipment for free while supplies last.

"Jordan definitely liked Christmas, and he was always excited about it. But in spite of that, he's always asked us, 'Do all the kids get something for Christmas?' So we know he's definitely behind this," Steve Smelski said. "He was always worried that Santa wouldn't come to everybody's house, so we are going to try and make sure we get it to a lot more of them."

Jordan died July 2, 2014, after contracting the amoeba during a family vacation in Costa Rica. He suffered from flu-like symptoms, headaches and hallucinations that made doctors think he had viral meningitis. Jordan never regained consciousness after being put in a medically induced coma.

Since then, his parents created The Jordan Smelski Foundation for Amoeba Awareness, and they have made it their goal to give back to the community.

As they set up Jordan's Sporting Goods Store, they're asking for donations of new and gently used sporting goods to stock the shelves. Donations can be dropped off at Journey Christian Church at 1965 S. Orange Blossom Trail in Apopka. Anyone who needs a donation picked up can call Steve Smelski at 407-314-5540 or email him at ssmelski@jordanssmile.org.

In-demand items during last year's event included bicycles, scooters, helmets and fishing poles.

Monetary donations are also being accepted at www.JordanSmelskiFoundation.org.

Jordan's Sporting Goods Store will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The store will be located at West Town Corners, 280 S. State Road 434, Suite 1045 in Altamonte Springs.

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