Jenna Lowe is an organ donor and social activist and before she died, she created a legacy that would live on in the rare disease community and save lives.
She suffered from a rare disease called pulmonary arterial hypertension (PH). This chronic form of high blood pressure in the lungs results in the thickening of pulmonary arteries over time which causes a number of problems. It took the doctors two years to diagnose Jenna with the disease.
To learn more about PH, click here.
Before she passed away, Jenna started the Get Me to 21 campaign, a community of organ donors that tries to persuade others to become donors as well. When she died, her parents carried her legacy and began to spread awareness about their daughter’s disease all across South America.
The Jenna Lowe Trust (JLT) was created in her honor and soon after, a team was formed. Lowe’s pulmonologist, Dr. Greg Symons partnered up with Dr Greg Callimaro. The two Greg’s created their own PH treatment clinic at Groote Schuur Hospital for state and private PH sufferers. Today, they treat 68 patients while providing counseling and other treatments.
The clinic has seen many success stories, including that of Bridget Nkonyeni who was in dire need of a thrombectomy that was successfully performed.
Jenna’s mother, Gabi, remembers the challenges that PH hurled at her daughter and how confusing a time it was, considering that there wasn’t much known about the rare disease.
“We vowed that after our experience with Jenna’s disease, things had to change; PH patients, their families, their friends and healthcare professionals needed support to make this disease manageable and improve healthcare around it,” she told the Cape Times.
The doctors are proud to be a member of Lowe’s legacy. Their mission is to provide hope, support and treatment to people who suffer from PH. Jenna would certainly be proud.