Today we were meant to be celebrating Jenna Lowe’s 21st in spectacular fashion…but sadly the young Capetonian never reached this milestone, as her #GetMeTo21 campaign so optimistically implored. But with Jenna’s courageous quest to raise awareness about organ donation, she has made a tremendous difference to South Africans and will live on in our memories forever.
Today her parents, Gabi and Stuart Lowe, have issued a press release in memory of their daughter; and detailing some of the urgent work that they are continuing to do in her name.
Jenna captured the hearts and minds of South Africans as she inspired a staggering 36,000 people in the country to register as organ donors through her GetMeTo21 campaign.
Jenna had planned a 21st celebration like no other. Her intention was to hold a spectacular event to celebrate her special birthday with every person that signed up as an organ donor through her GetMeTo21 campaign.
This campaign, was not only about her personal need for lungs, it was also about the other 4,400 patients in South Africa awaiting organs for life-saving transplants; the vast majority of whom are young people, according to the Jenna Lowe Trust, also desperately wanting to get to their next birthday.
Sadly, Jenna passed away on the 8 June 2015, four months shy of her 21st.
Today her parents said: “We commemorate and remember her extraordinary life as a young leader, role model, educator, and champion.
“Along with the Jenna Lowe Trust, we can continue her legacy in simple ways and continue to drive her ultimate passion, to change the world for the better.”
They said that “in life, Jenna exuded an inspirational bravery that touched people and has undeniably created massive social impact in South Africa by increasing organ donor registration by 238%, through her campaigning alone.
“Her efforts to raise awareness for the rare and under-diagnosed lung disease Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) from which she suffered has also paid dividends as the first specialist PAH unit at Groote Schuur Hospital & UCT Private Academic Hospital in Cape Town is now operational.”
The Jenna Lowe Trust has a newly designed website and has partnered with RELATE Bracelets to create a red beaded bracelet to honour, acknowledge and celebrate Jenna’s beautiful life.
The bracelets are available in boxes of ten online at jenna-lowe-getmeto21-stack – proceeds of the sales go towards the Jenna Lowe Trust, which is mandated and committed to continue raising awareness for Pulmonary Hypertension, Organ Transplantation and Rare Diseases in South Africa.
At the age of 12 Jenna said: “I can make a difference, and a difference can make me.” She continues to make a difference…
Organ Donor in South Africa: Fast Facts
- Less than 0.02% of South Africans are registered organ donors
- South Africa has one of the worst organ donor registrations in the world
- Females are 10% more likely than males to be registered organ donors
- More than half of organ donors live in LSM10+ households.
- Organ donors are most likely to be active and sporty.
- There are almost 5 000 patients waiting for organs as at 28 October 2015,
[Source: BrandMapp 2016 by WhyFive Insights Pty Ltd.]