Jenna Lowe logo

Jenna Lowe was an extraordinary young girl who made a massive impact on the landscape of a rare and cruel lung disease called Pulmonary Hypertension. She got South Africa to wake up and start talking about organ donation with her effective, award-winning campaign Get Me To 21. Her impact became global and her legacy continues to grow.

Jenna Lowe

Jenna Lowe was an extraordinary young girl who made a massive impact on the landscape of a rare and cruel lung disease called Pulmonary Hypertension. She got South Africa to wake up and start talking about organ donation with her effective, award-winning campaign Get Me To 21. Her impact became global and her legacy continues to grow.

The Magic Bissie Tree

The Magic Bissie Tree Cover

At the tender age of eight, Jenna started writing a story while playing one of their many 'office-office' games with Kristi. This one was started during an afternoon visit to their much-loved Grannie Annie. Jenna arrived home clutching some scruffy handwritten pages (I still have them buried somewhere) which I read later that evening. It struck me that Jenna’s words had the making of a really good story, although supposedly of little significance. With encouragement from us and her friends and family, Jen finished 10 chapters of her magical adventure story in just six weeks.

This children’s story, written by Jenna Lowe when she was just eight years old, is the tale of a poor little forest girl who steps on a magic thorn and falls gravely ill. A witch doctor comes to help her and together they set off on a journey to find the Magic Bissie Tree. They have many fantastic adventures along the way and finally find the tree dripping with apples of every colour and shiny golden leaves. This tree holds the key to healing the little girl.

Three years later, her hopes and dreams were fulfilled when The Magic Bissie Tree was published. The illustrations were done in collaboration with a young family friend, Ashleigh Arton, just two years Jenna’s senior. It was a book for children created by children.

Jenna's article on magic tree Jenna as an author and illustrator

We decided to self-publish and printed 200 copies for friends and family. Word got out and they were soon sold out. We decided to print in bulk – 2 000 copies. It was at this point that Jenna insisted on giving a percentage of sales to a cause. Her dream was always to make a difference in this world of ours.

Said Jen, “The media machine kicked in regardless of mom and dad’s good intentions to shield me, and I did loads of interviews and shoots. It was during one of these that I had the privilege of meeting Chaeli and Zelda Mycroft from the Chaeli Campaign. I wanted to support their cause and 25% of every book sold went to their campaign. In return, Zelda encouraged me to speak at her networking breakfasts and seminars, which later contributed towards me developing a love for public speaking.”

Jenna giving her speech

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT CHORDOMA?

Chordoma is a slow growing cancer of tissue found inside the spine. It grows very slowly and many people don’t notice any change in their bodies for years.

Other Useful Links:

Cancer.gov | Chordoma Foundation | My Cleveland Clinic | Rare Diseases | Genetic and Rare Disease Information Center
COUSIN NATALIE

A few years later Jenna and Kristi’s beloved young cousin, Natalie, was diagnosed with Chordoma, a very rare form of cancer. We immediately dusted off Jen’s books and began selling them at fundraising events for Natalie’s surgeries. Said Jenna: “People began commenting on the parallels between “The Magic Bissie Tree” and Natalie’s story. My tale you see, is about a young girl who falls suddenly ill. It’s about the generous people who help her on her way, the challenges she faces and the bravery she shows in the face of her rare condition. The girl in my story had no name, but after Natalie was diagnosed I felt that the valiant ‘Little Forest Girl’ was Natalie, a real-life warrior-princess, far more courageous and inspiring than any fictional heroine.”

A CRUEL TWIST OF FATE

Shortly after writing these words, in a bizarre and cruel twist of fate, Jenna too was diagnosed with a rare, life-threatening condition: Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. And so began her very own long and courageous battle to find her miracle cure, her “Magic Bissie Tree”. Maybe, just maybe, in some weird way, Jenna had written her own story. We lost our beloved Natalie at the age of thirteen in November 2013. Just 19 months later, in June 2015, we lost our beloved Jenna at the age of twenty. Two beautiful young children taken by rare diseases. A fate no family should ever have to bear.

Jenna and Natalie
Jenna and Natalie Jenna and Natalie Jenna and Natalie Jenna and Natalie

Support Jenna's Legacy

We appreciate any and all efforts made to furthering Jenna’s Legacy and supporting our cause in any way that suits you best.

become an organ donor

Register to become an Organ Donor

Less than 0.3% of South Africans are registered organ donors, despite SA being the ‘home’ of the heart transplant. This shocking statistic (we need hundreds of thousands more donors) means at least 4,300 people await a life-saving organ transplant on any given day.

It is quick, easy and costs nothing to register as a donor. Your organs could save up to seven lives when you die.

transfer funds electronically

Electronic Funds Transfer

For electronic fund transfers, the banking details are:

The Jenna Lowe Trust

Bank: First National Bank

Vineyard Road Branch, Claremont, Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa 7708

SA National clearing code: 250655

Business account number: 6238 7502 761

Swift code: FIRNZAJJ

pay with paypal

PayPal Donation

Pay online with your PayPal password and skip entering your financial information. Or pay even faster with One Touch™, stay logged in and check out without entering your password. PayPal is the faster, safer way to send money, make an online payment, receive money or set up a merchant account.

become an organ donor

Register to become an Organ Donor

Less than 0.3% of South Africans are registered organ donors, despite SA being the ‘home’ of the heart transplant. This shocking statistic (we need hundreds of thousands more donors) means at least 4,300 people await a life-saving organ transplant on any given day.

It is quick, easy and costs nothing to register as a donor. Your organs could save up to seven lives when you die.

transfer funds electronically

Electronic Funds Transfer

For electronic fund transfers, the banking details are:

The Jenna Lowe Trust

Bank: First National Bank

Vineyard Road Branch, Claremont, Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa 7708

SA National clearing code: 250655

Business account number: 6238 7502 761

Swift code: FIRNZAJJ

pay with paypal

PayPal Donation

Pay online with your PayPal password and skip entering your financial information. Or pay even faster with One Touch™, stay logged in and check out without entering your password. PayPal is the faster, safer way to send money, make an online payment, receive money or set up a merchant account.

PROUD TO
PARTNER WITH

UCT Private and Academic Hospital
Organ Donation Foundation
Millpark Hospital
Rare Diseases South Africa
PVRI

Proud to partner with:

Rare Diseases South Africa
Organ Donation Foundation
PVRI
Millpark Hospital
UCT Private and Academic Hospital

PROUD TO
PARTNER WITH

Rare Diseases South Africa
PVRI
UCT Private and Academic Hospital
Organ Donation Foundation
Millpark Hospital