News Releases


March 16, 2022

DAYTON, Ohio - Deloris Jordan, mother of the world's best-known basketball player, came to Dayton March 16 to tour Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services and talk about what she considers one of the world's best-kept secrets.

Jordan is the mother of former NBA star Michel Jordan and founder and president of the James R. Jordan Foundation. Named for her late husband, its inaugural project in 2000 was to establish the Kenya Women and Children's Wellness Centre. Her goal is to bring a blood and tissue bank to the hospital, and she looked to her friend CBC/CTS COO Diane Wilson for guidance.

"How can I contribute and is it something sustainable?" said Jordan. "To be sustainable means starting something on the ground. Don't take it lightly what you're doing. The world needs to know what you're doing here. This is the best-kept secret."

Jordan and Wilson first collaborated in 2009 on a project to bring skin tissue grafts to aid burn patients injured in a massive fire. "It was very difficult to do at the time," said Wilson. "She just wanted to make sure we got some skin there, we knew how to do it, and that's how I met her."

Diane continued as a blood and tissue advisor to Jordan and the foundation. "Since then we had kept the relationship by email," said Wilson. "Six months ago, I said to her, 'You know we can do a lot by email, but I think you need to come and see us. I think we're a little bit bigger than what you imagine, and if you're really going to build a blood and tissue center in Kenya come and see the real thing."

"That's why we're here taking the tour," Jordan said. "To see what you're doing and what we're doing globally."

The day began with a tour of the Dayton CBC Donation Center where she met donors and staff and visited the labs.

"I want to thank you for your mission and contributing," she told staff members, "because I think we're all on a mission. It's all about humanity. Some days it can be good days and bad days but always know you're contributing to other people's lives.

"It's an honor to see and tour your facilities. It helped me realize because we take it so for granted. We do not know what you do behind the scenes.  The story needs to be told what you do and on a larger scale."

Jordan then visited the Center for Tissue Innovation and Research in Kettering. She watched bone and skin graft manufacturing through the windows of the clean rooms and returned waves from the gowned workers with a thumbs up.

"This facility is just - wow!" she said as she met CBC/CTS CEO Dr. David Smith.

She toured both CTIR buildings, stopping for photos with staff in every department and asked questions.

"No one could dream that you do all of this," she said, "and you are responding to all these needs."

Nearly everyone she met wanted to her to know they were fans of her son. "I have your son on my wall!" said Jeff Lohnes. "I am very humbled."

Jordan was proud to talk about her famous son and the family's dedication to helping others long before the foundation.

"It just didn't start with Michael on the basketball court," she said. "It starts with setting goals at home and making decisions about how we can contribute to the next generation.

"When he was in college, we provided equipment for the handicap and he never stopped giving," said Jordan.

Jordan said the James Jordan Foundation was born from taking a global view of the Jordan name and how it could impact places like East Africa. "We looked around at what they didn't have," she said. "They didn't have education, water, shoes on their feet. That's how we started."

She said the Jordan legacy, the Jordan Foundation and CBC/CTS are stories worth telling.

"You've got to tell the world about and if you're doing it for the right reasons. When you're doing it from your heart that's the most important thing. And I think in all of his giving, it came from his heart."