It is hard to believe that it’s nearly 2 years since Jenna’s double lung transplant, 17 months since she passed away and just a few weeks since what would have been her 22nd birthday. We feel her heart wrenching loss and magnificent presence every day, in every moment, in all that we do.
November is Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness month, what better time to highlight the work that the trust is doing in Jenna’s name. Jen our angel, your powerful legacy lives on in the thousands of lives you have touched and changed forever.
So, what is The Jenna Lowe Trust busy with? We act as a voice for PH patients. There is a massive gap in support for PH patients who are often left isolated, alone and overwhelmed when first diagnosed. Jenna’s vision was that all PH patients in SA would be diagnosed and treated to ensure the very best possible quality of life for them whilst living with this debilitating disease.
The Jenna Lowe Trust is supporting one of the first PH clinics in South Africa at Grooteschuur, which now sees over 45 state and private PH patients from all over the nation. It was started in Jenna’s memory and is growing on a monthly basis. 45 patients may not seem like a lot, but remember that when Jen was diagnosed just a short four years ago there was nowhere to go, no central facility for PH patients and we could only find a few others.
We have a specialised nurse to offer patient support who communicates with the patients regularly, ensuring they are able to attend regularly clinic appointments, taking their medication consistently and generally monitoring their well-being. We facilitate monthly patient support groups that enable patients and family members to share coping strategies and experiences, and to receive emotional support from others facing the same predicament.
We have also written, designed and printed patient information brochures in three languages and distributed them to patients around the Western Cape. Until recently, there was no information or support documentation to be found at local doctors, only via the internet, which many of our state patients do not have access to.
We also fundraise to purchase much-needed equipment such as home oxygen concentrators and mobility scooters for some of our PH Clinic patients to make their life easier.
Two recent donations did just that:
- Huge thanks go to Debbie from Vintage With Love – with her generous donation The Trust has just bought 2 home oxygen concentrators that will be consistently loaned to patients in dire need. These concentrators greatly improve the quality of life for patients when their oxygen intake is severely challenged.
- And it is with much gratitude that we also just received the generous donation of a virtually brand new Mobility Chair that was taken today to Nathan Du Plessis in Mitchells Plain. Huge thanks to Sharon Levy and Reach For A Dream for donating it to The Jenna Lowe Trust.
You can see a video of Nathan and his scooter below.
Jenna Lowe Trust bracelets are ideal Xmas gifts for the table, as a stocking filler or corporate gift.
Lastly, the Trust endeavors to act as an advocacy body for PH patients. By educating the public and healthcare professionals, patients can be diagnosed earlier and receive timely treatment and psycho-social support which is vital to their longevity.
The sale of Jenna Lowe Trust RELATE bracelets goes a long way to help spreading awareness of the trust and to pay for some of our Clinic costs… and don’t forget, they make a great Xmas Gift.
The Jenna Lowe Trust bracelets are R45 each (R450 for a box of ten) and make for perfect stocking fillers, corporate gifts, table gifts or to put into a Christmas cracker!
With love and gratitude,
Gabi Lowe and the team at the Jenna Lowe Trust