Jazmyne was smart. So smart, she helped everyone else with their homework before doing her own. “That was typical of Jazmyne. She always believed in helping everyone,” said Jazmyne’s mother, Tanyice.
When their 9-year-old daughter died from a severe asthma attack in 2007, Tanyice and her husband, Clarence, knew Jazmyne would have wanted to help others. They chose to donate her organs.
Tanyice said, “No matter what the circumstances were, Jazmyne would find something good to share to lift a person’s spirits. Whether it was through her smile, a joke, or her hugs and kisses, Jazzy wanted everyone to be happy.”
Today, the family—including Jazmyne’s older sister, Taneisha, and younger brother, Clarence III—keeps Jazmyne’s spirit alive. They’ve done so by participating in many community awareness programs.
They share their story on the Life Goes On poster by the Illinois Secretary of State’s (SOS) office to promote organ and tissue donation. They launched the first annual Celebrate Life Skate Jam in memory of Jazzy, who loved to dance. An Illinois SOS representative attended and signed up participants on the state organ donor registry. The family also established Jazzy’s Gift of Life, a program that promotes the need for organ and tissue donation, especially in the African-American community. The program also raises awareness about asthma, its triggers, and its preventions.
Community involvement helps Tanyice cope with missing her daughter. “It is a way for me to hold onto her, to get the word out about the need for organ and tissue donation, to continue her legacy, and to inspire us to give. Though Jazzy may no longer be with us, we know that through her sacrifice and gift, her memory will live on forever.”