When Cape Town teenager Jenna Lowe was diagnosed with life-threatening Pulmonary Hypertension (PH), she didn’t simply become a patient, she became a lead activist bringing attention to the disease.
In 2014, two years ahead of her 21st birthday, Jenna launched her successful #GetMeTo21 social media campaign to raise awareness for this rare, life-threatening disease and to drive organ donation in South Africa.
Articulate, brave and beautiful, she touched people across the world, and the campaign achieved international acclaim.
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‘GET ME TO 21’ DOCUMENTARY
This moving documentary features footage and interviews with many of Jenna’s friends, doctors, and family, including Jenna’s mother Gabi who chronicled her daughter’s heroic odyssey with this poorly understood and staggeringly cruel medical condition in her best-selling memoir Get Me to 21.
Get me to 21 pays tribute to Jenna’s indomitable spirit, sharing insights on how the Lowe family found strength and resilience as they faced every parents worse nightmare; firstly the medical practitioners that couldn’t diagnose Jenna’s condition and then had few, if any, treatments to offer.The Lowes didn’t accept that helplessness. Yet PH is a cruel, degenerative condition and ordinary challenges of youth such as writing matric became especially poignant as her family watched Jenna sitting in a wheelchair with oxygen support determinedly writing her final exams – she achieved straight A’s.
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M-Net’s channel Director of Premium Channels Waldimar Pelser says: “We’re profoundly moved by Jenna’s story, this beautiful documentary and Jenna’s dedication to raising awareness for PH and organ donation. Her legacy is one of hope and it deserves to reach a wider audience. Jenna captivated social media communities, but this documentary is the way it should be told. We’re delighted to bring this documentary to our viewers and help keep Jenna’s significant mission alive.”
JENNA LOWE NPO AND CLINIC
Jenna’s family started a not-for-profit organisation, the Jenna Lowe Trust, in her memory. It helped to establish The Jenna Lowe PH Clinic at Groote Schuur, which currently supports around 600 PH patients because earlier diagnosis means a better quality of life.
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Gabi Lowe says: “Jenna’s advocacy helped to provoke more engagement from the medical community to improve PH care and accessibility to treatments. Get Me to 21 – The Jenna Lowe Story builds on her legacy of courage and hope. Jenna’s story lives on and makes a difference to other patients and their families.”
Get Me to 21 – The Jenna Lowe Story is directed by Diana Lucas and edited by Mary Berry. The documentary will broadcast on M-Net (DStv channel 101) on Saturday, 12 August at 20:30.
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