Alumnus tells teen looking to end life: "You are not a burden"

Concordia University Wisconsin alumnus Jordan Schroeter is sending out a message to an Appleton teen with a struggle close to his own.

News stories have recently surfaced about Jerika Bolen, 14, who, according to news sites, has chosen to forego next month the use of her ventilator – which she relies upon 12 hours a day to live – instead of continue with the pain of her incurable genetic disease, spinal muscular atrophy type 2.

Schroeter, a May Concordia graduate who also has SMA, posted a video message to Facebook on Sunday. In it, he addresses Bolen and urges her to reconsider her decision to end her life. 

“You are not a burden,” Schroeter says in the video. “You have so much left to do in this world and your family needs you.”

Schroeter is urging all those who see his video to “like” and share it in hopes it will reach Bolen.

Three days after posting, the video had surpassed 1,100 shares and had gained more than 40 thousand views. Schroeter says his story also has been picked up by local and national news media, with stories scheduled to air or run in the next few days.

In it, Schroeter also opens up about his own struggles and shares the hope he found to help him carry on.

“What got me through it? Long story short, God; the loving care of my family; and my friends.”

See Schroeter’s video here: