Jazmyne was smart. So smart, she helped everyone else with their homework before sitting down to do her own. “That was typical of Jazmyne. She always believed in helping everyone,” said Jazmyne’s mother, Tanyice.
When their nine-year-old daughter died from a severe asthma attack in 2007, Tanyice and her husband Clarence knew Jazmyne would have wanted to help others and 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 her younger brother Clarence III—keeps Jazmyne’s spirit alive by participating in many community awareness programs.
They share their story on the Life Goes On poster, published by the Illinois Secretary of State’s (SOS) office, which promotes 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 to be put on the state organ donor registry. The family also established Jazzy’s Gift of Life, a program which 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.”