A message from the family
In 2012 Jenna Lowe, our gorgeous, healthy daughter then aged seventeen, was diagnosed with an extremely rare lung disease called Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. This little-known, degenerative and life-threatening condition changed not just Jenna’s life, but all of our lives, forever. Bright, beautiful and extraordinarily eloquent, Jenna demonstrated exceptional leadership and courage throughout her three and half year battle with this debilitating illness. She helped raise much needed awareness for Pulmonary Hypertension, opened up new treatment options and brought global expertise to South Africa. Tragically, Jenna passed away in hospital on the 8th of June 2015. In her short life she made a massive social impact, most notably with her internationally acclaimed and award-winning Getmeto21 campaign that significantly increased organ donor registration in South Africa. The Jenna Lowe Trust honours her legacy in all that it does and it supports Pulmonary Hypertension, Organ Transplantation and Rare Diseases in South Africa. Written by: Gabi and Stuart Lowe Cape Town, South Africa
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Getmeto21 Quick Facts
In October 2014, twenty-year-old Jenna Lowe invited the entire nation to her 21st birthday ... the results were astounding… watch her invitation here (add hyperlink to Jen’s video on getmeto21 site).
Her video went viral, it was all over social media, in every newspaper and on radio and television. This was the single most successful call to action for organ donors in South Africa, with more than 20 000 new organ donors signing up in just three months … a 287% increase in donor registrations and well over R14 million in media generating awareness for the dire situation of organ donating in SA. Read more facts here about Get Me To 21
Organ Donation Quick Facts
Even though SA is the home of the first ever heart transplant less that 0.3% of our population are organ donors. On any one given day there are at least 4,300 people awaiting an organ transplant. It is quick, easy and costs nothing to become a donor. Your organs could save up to seven lives when you die. Visit Get Me To 21 or Organ Donor Foundation
Rare Diseases Quick Facts
Did you know that over 7,000 different rare diseases have been identified to date, directly affecting the daily life of more than 350 million people worldwide? The complex nature of rare diseases, coupled with limited access to treatment and services, means that family members are often the primary source of solidarity, support and care for their loved ones. The Rare Disease Society of SA has become a crucial source of information, experience and resources for families affected by rare diseases in South Africa. Find out more information on the Rare Diseases SA website.
Pulmonary Hypertension Quick Facts
Pulmonary Hypertension is a progressive, degenerative disease caused by the narrowing or tightening of the veins and arteries in the lungs.
Common early symptoms of PH include:
Breathlessness (particularly during physical activity); excessive fatigue; dizziness; fainting; peripheral oedema and chest pain (particularly during physical activity). Learn more about Jenna’s particular journey with PH.
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Gabi met with Bailey Schneider at Smile FM to discuss the book. You can have a listen to the podcast here: https://echocast.fabrik.fm/N4YQvq9v2KKq0yread more
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