Irvine rallies behind one of their own following medical issues

By Taylor Chartrand
February 18, 2019 - 9:51pm Updated: February 19, 2019 - 7:28pm


Irvine, AB - The community of Irvine and its surrounding area are looking to help out one of their own who is going through some tough medical times.

After falling ill in October 2017, Joe Hordos was put on E-I in November due to safety concerns.

Hordos knew something was wrong when he gradually started losing feeling in his hands and legs.

Doctors have yet to make an official diagnosis, but Hordos suspects he is suffering from an auto-immune disease.

"I can move around the house area to area," explained Hordos.  "Any long standing, I cannot do. I've got a wheelchair at home and a cane to help me stand. Any travel right now is solely based on my girlfriend Jenn, as I can't drive right now. This whole thing has brought me down quite a bit." 

In December, Hordos took a turn for the worst after falling and breaking his arm.

"After the surgery, I lost all mobility in my legs. With treatment and stuff like that, it's starting to come back. Still no diagnosis. They're looking into sarcoidosis, neuromyelitis optica and transverse myelitis."

After Hordos got sick, he tried breaking up with his girlfriend Jennifer Cooper after 2-years of dating.

Hordos didn't want to put Cooper through any of his medical issues, but she wouldn't accept that.

"I just said that if you wanted to break up for other reasons, that's fine," explained Cooper. "But, being sick was not a good enough reason for me to be pushed away. I wanted to be there for him and do what I could."

From helping him walk around, to driving him to all his medical appointments across the province, Hordos realized her couldn't do this without her.

"She's been my rock," he said. "She's helped me through it all."

In addition to Cooper's support, Hordos has also had some friends helping him along the way.

"I know what a good person Joe is," explained Nicole Poisson. "I also know what a struggle it is to deal with auto-immune and answers are key, but if you don't have the funding, you don't get the answers, right?" 

This Friday, the Irvine Hotel is hosting a steak-night and auction to raise money for Hordos.

Organizers of the fundraiser say they aren't looking for a specific amount of money, they're just looking to offer Hordos a bit of a reprieve for his travel and potential medical costs, which could be around $2,800 every 6 months.

"The support has been just awesome," he said. "Whether it be Facebook or everyone around here, it's just been overwhelming the care that everybody has and the support that everyone's been giving me." 

Tickets for the steak dinner are still available and can be purchased by calling the Irvine Hotel.

Council strengthens bylaw around supervised consumption site