Dancing and Dashing on Through Donation
My daughter Jenae’ had the world in her hands. As a sophomore at Lakewood High School, she was involved in student council, on the cheerleading squad and spent her lunches mentoring a grade school student who needed extra help with her homework. On top of that, she was a dancer – it was her true passion. Her dream was to graduate from high school and begin a dance career.
Tragically, she was involved in an accident while on her way to teach dance class – one week before the dance school’s yearly recital. Since it was not like her to be late to class, the school called. That’s when our world was forever changed.
Our family rushed to the hospital, but despite the doctors doing everything they could to save Jenae’s life, she died at the age of 16 on May 31, 2013.
After she was pronounced brain dead, our family was presented with the opportunity of organ, eye and tissue donation. A discussion that she and I had before she got her license made it an easy decision – I knew Jenae’ wanted to be a donor. It tremendously eased our burden to know what she would have wanted and to honor her wish.
Jenae’ was able to give the Gift of Life to three people, the gift of sight to two and heal countless others through tissue donation.
We miss Jenae’ every single day – there has been no greater loss than hers. However, our family honors her memory in many ways. We offer scholarships in her name to Lakewood High School and the dance studio she taught for, we participate in the annual Dash for Donation and our family volunteers as Donate Life Ambassadors. As Ambassadors, we educate others on the importance of registering as an organ, eye and tissue donor and sharing that decision with family members – just like Jenae’ did.
Our hope is that her legacy will live on through the hundreds, if not thousands, of people that she touched. Our family will tirelessly advocate for organ, eye and tissue donation to ensure that Jenae’s gifts will influence others to register to be a donor. Our beautiful daughter’s gift dances on.