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Jenna Lowe: Beating the odds against lung disease

A 20-year-old woman diagnosed with a lung disorder is struggling against the odds to celebrate her 21st.

Jenna Lowe, who is fighting a rare lung disease. Picture: LeadSA.

CAPE TOWN - Jenna Lowe, who is fighting a rare lung disease, is struggling against the odds to live long enough to celebrate her 21st birthday.

The brave woman has been hailed as the Western Cape Lead SA Youth Hero for raising awareness about organ donation after being diagnosed with a lung disorder in 2012.

Through the Jenna Lowe Trust, her family poured every effort into acquiring the right medical care and a dedicated team of global doctors to improve Lowe's quality of life.

However, despite the tireless efforts of her family and friends, Lowe's health deteriorated to the extent that she has been actively listed for a double lung transplant.

Although the urgent need for a lung transplant frightened her family, Lowe made the decision to fulfil her lifelong goal of making a difference by inviting the country to her 21st birthday celebrations.

"Being listed for a lung transplant, I realise that I can actually have dreams again," she said.

Combining two dreams, making a difference and living to see her 21st, Lowe decided to put the focus on organ donation in South Africa.

Through a novel birthday invitation known as getmeto21.com, Lowe has called on South Africans to sign up as organ donors.

"There are so many South Africans who, like me, are in need of organs. I would love to reach my 21st and I am going to need new lungs to do it," she said.

Whether its a direct consequence of Lowe's birthday invite, registrations for organ donations have increased in recent months.