Organ donor campaigner Jenna Lowe died on June 8. Lowe’s family send out an open invitation for the memorial service that was held on Saturday Herschel Girls’ Senior School in Cape Town. The family said in the invitation that they will “commemorate and pay tribute to an extraordinary life”. Hundreds of people gathered to pay their last respects.
June 24 th, 2015
The inspiring South African youngster died three years after being diagnosed with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, a rare lung disease, and six months after she had a double lung transplant.
In her tribute, mom Gabi said: “You have literally changed the lives of tens of thousands of people. You changed the consciousness of a nation. I remember, even in your worst time, your worry was not for yourself.”
Her mother said: “...at our first fundraiser for Jenna, I said it takes a village to raise a child. But it takes an extraordinary child to change the consciousness of a village….You have changed the consciousness of your nation, not because of your need but because of your love.”
Jenna was a hero
Jenna started the “Get me to 21” campaign which spurred thousands of people to sign up to become organ donors. She had been named Lead SA’s Youth Hero in September by partners Primedia Broadcasting and Independent Newspapers.
Her courage and her work around organ donations were praised by the Premier of the Western Cape, Helen Zille when she visited Lowe while she was still battling for her life.
“It was an incredibly difficult battle to lose when it was defined by hope. Just hope.” Lowe’s father, Stuart said as he thanked her for her lifetime of joy and courage. “Our challenge is to remember Jen before (those) six months.” According to Stuart 20,000 people have signed up to become organ donors on Jenna’s website before her death.
Jenna’s sister, Kristi sang one of her favourite songs, Celine Dion’s My heart will go on. “I did not expect this to be the end. No one did…” she said.
Lowe’s family is not only left bereft of emotion but is also burdened with huge medical expenses and the cost of relocating to Cape Town. They are planning to scatter Jenna’s ashes at Kristenbosch.
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