You don’t need a cape or superpowers to become a hero. Jenna Lowe wants you to become a hero by becoming an organ donor.
I am constantly reminded about how easy it is to make someone’s day. Be it greeting a stranger or giving a homeless person food.
It’s incredible easy to change someone’s day, but what if we all had the opportunity to become a hero? The opportunity to save someone’s life and give a family hope?
Last week I met Jenna Lowe.
Jenna is a beautiful 20 year old girl, who not only is incredible academic but also won public speaking awards and is a great dancer. If I remember correctly she was even head girl or deputy head girl as well. This is quite an achievement, and is challenging enough for most students or teenagers.
But Jenna wasn’t most teenagers. At the age of 15, Jenna was incorrectly diagnosed with Asthma. By the age of 16 she was on serious medication and had to carry oxygen around with her. Jenna found out she has a lung disease that has no cure. Day by day her lungs would get worse, making it harder to breath and putting more strain on
But she didn’t let this stop her from achieving her goals. Sadly as the condition of her lungs worsened she became bound to an electric wheelchair during varsity and it became vital that
she stay in a germ free environment and so she was unable to finish her studies at UCT. She had to trade campus life with lots of rest at home while she waits for a lung donor.
Thinking this sounds relatively easy?
Not so. Did you know that less than 0.2% of South Africans are registered donors? Did you know that we have over 4500 people on the organ donor waiting list at any given moment?
For most of us this would be a reason to focus on ourselves and our families but Jenna takes the focus off of herself. I was so lucky to spend an evening with Jenna and her family, listing to Jenna’s dreams and love of life and will to help others.
It’s almost like she doesn’t realize how much she is giving to others. A few things stood out for me as we chatted during dinner.
1) I asked Jenna about the waiting list, Jenna responded, “There are over 4500 people on the waiting list and there are people that need it more than me.” I couldn’t believe what I heard. 15 minutes before that I had helped her dad, Stuart, change her medication. This medication connects onto a pipe that goes straight into her heart. Surely she should not be worrying about others and just focussed on her own transplant?
2) Jenna explained to me what it feels like to breath. “Imagine standing on top of Kilimanjaro breathing and then times that by 10.” As an athlete I imagined running up a mountain and that feeling that you get of being so out of breath that it’s hard to speak. It’s a feeling of not being able to recover.
3) Jenna has to be on oxygen 24/7. She will survive for only 3 minutes without it. As we were sitting at dinner the oxygen machine made a funny noise, it suddenly got real as Jenna gave a stern shout to the big oxygen machine “Don’t do this to me!”
4) Just her medication costs over R1m a year.
5) Jenna said that she is really looking forward to joining me on a run after her transplant. The
positivity she possesses is beyond amazing.
Jenna needs a lung transplant soon, and this will only be possible if we all become organ donors.
Jenna started a campaign called #GetMeTo21 (www.getmeto21.com). Her campaign invites every single person that becomes a donor to her 21st. She has already gotten over 8000 people to register in 6 weeks! Imagine what she can achieve with your help?
I would love to see you all there, so why not become a hero?
Follow this link – it takes only a few minutes and you really will become a hero.
We all going to die – it’s the only think I can guarantee, so why not give life to someone else?
Please share this story and don’t let it stop at you! Get all your friends and family to become Heroes too.
Imagine giving a family hope and a kid a second chance? (Not only will you get to celebrate life at Jenna 21st, which is going to be the best party ever) but the best benefit of becoming a
donor is that your status as a Hero kicks in immediately.
Go on become a hero, and see you at Jenna Lowe’s 21st. Have a kick ass week and don’t forget to make a difference…