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Archive for the ‘Youth’ Category

Jenna Lowe’s Story in Her Own Words – An Excerpt from 21 at 21 by Melanie Verwoerd and Sonwabiso Ngcowa

21 at 21City Press recently shared the story of Jenna Lowe, excerpted from 21 at 21: The Coming of Age of a Nation by Melanie Verwoerd and Sonwabiso Ngcowa.

At the age of 16, Lowe learned that she had pulmonary hypertension, and would need a lung transplant to survive it. She started the “Get Me to 21” campaign to raise awareness about the need for organ donors.

Unfortunately, Lowe passed away shortly before her 21st birthday. The authors of 21 at 21 say that few people have touched them “as deeply as Jenna Lowe did”. They considered interviewing her a great privilege.

The book shares Lowe’s story in her own words:

“I was born in Cape Town and, since I was three years old, we have lived in this house. As a child I was a real girly girl – obsessed with pink. From grades 1 to 12, I was at Herschel Girls’ School in Claremont, Cape Town. I loved it there! But I was a little bit of a nerd. I was obsessed with reading and getting As for everything.

“However, in Grade 9, at the age of 16, I started feeling breathless when exercising. At first, I thought I was just really unfit, so I upped my exercise regime. But then it got worse and we got to the point where we realised something was wrong. My family started to call me Darth Vader, because I started to breathe just a little too loudly. All the tests and X-rays showed no abnormalities.

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