Local documentary based on Jenna Lowe’s story


August is National Organ Donor Awareness Month, so the perfect time to launch this documentary about a teenager turned activist who helped to raise global awareness of Pulmonary Hypertension and organ donation.

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.

This moving documentary, Get Me to 21- The Jenna Lowe Story, 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 parent’s worst nightmare; firstly the medical practitioners that couldn’t diagnose Jenna’s condition and then had few, if any, treatments to offer. The Lowe’s 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.

Watch the trailer here.

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.

Gabi 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) – The home of entertainment on Saturday, 12 August at 20:30 live stream with  DStv Stream or watch later on DStv Catch Up after broadcast. Visit the M-Net Website and join the conversation on TwitterInstagram, TikTok and Facebook.