“When it’s her time, it will be her time:” Grafton man urges Appleton teen to reconsider life-or-death decision

GRAFTON -- Fight to stay alive! That is the message a Grafton man is trying to spread on social media after hearing about the life-or-death decision a teen in Appleton now faces. The two do not know each other. But both are battling the same terminal illness.

Jordan Schroeter

Jordan Schroeter

23-year-old Jordan Schroeter is living with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). It's a debilitating disorder that robs individuals of their ability to walk, eat and sometimes even breathe on their own.

"I'm not going to allow my disability to determine my future -- who I am. And most importantly, I'm not going to let this disability determine my happiness and quality of life," Schroeter said.

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Jerika Bolen

Schroeter said he was surprised to hear a teenager in Appleton, 14-year-old Jerika Bolen, is also suffering from SMA. Bolen made headlines recently when her classmates and friends threw her a special prom.

"It makes my heart explode. It's so crazy! That people want to come for little me," Bolen said.

It was Bolen's last wish before she plans to turn off her ventilator at the end of the summer.

Schroeter said he followed Bolen's story from home -- and was surprised by social media's support of her decision to end her life.

"When it's her time, it will be her time. Frankly, when it's my time, it will be my time as well," Schroeter said.

So Schroeter, an aspiring pastor, made his own video on Facebook, sympathizing with Bolen's struggle, while also offering hope.

When Schroeter was Bolen's age, there were days he thought he would never make it to 23.

"Anyone can use their pain and their suffering in this world -- they can use that as fuel as a means to heal other people," Schroeter said.

Jordan Schroeter

Jordan Schroeter

FOX6 News reached out to Bolen's family for comment. We have not heard back.