In memory of Jenna Lowe

How a courageous young girls’ gift of life continues to make a difference.

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Jenna Lowe captured the hearts and minds of our nation; she inspired a staggering 36 000 South Africans to register as organ donors through her brave GetMeTo21 campaign. Today, on what would’ve been her 21st birthday, 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.

Jenna planned a 21st celebration like no other. Her intention was to hold a spectacular event to celebrate this milestone 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 4400 patients in South Africa awaiting organs for life-saving transplants; the vast majority of whom are young people, also desperately wanting to get to their next birthday.  Sadly, Jenna passed away on the 8 June 2015, four months shy of her 21st.

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.

To acknowledge and celebrate Jenna’s beautiful life, the Jenna Lowe Trust has a newly designed website that continues the important conversation and work that she started. Designed to make news and features easier to find for families and patients in need of resources and information on PAH and organ donation, the improved user experience enables visitors to read, contribute and share information.

In addition to the new website, and in honour of her birthday, The Jenna Lowe Trust has partnered with RELATE Bracelets to create a red beaded bracelet to honor, acknowledge and celebrate Jenna’s beautiful life. From today, the Jenna Lowe RELATE Bracelets will be available in boxes of ten online selling for the launch price of R35.00 a bracelet. 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.

“I can make a difference, and a difference can make me”, Jenna Lowe, aged 12 years old.  Make a difference, visit www.jennalowe.org today.

How you can get involved:

The Jenna Lowe Trust is looking for retail partners to join their movement for change and stock Jenna’s bracelets. Any interested parties, should contact Gabi Lowe via email gabi@upfrontmarketing.co.za

Fast facts about organ donors in South Africa: 

  • 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.