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Jenna was two days old when she had her first surgery, where it was discovered she had cystic fibrosis. Although she was battling a serious disease, she did not let it stop her from ... moreliving an active life. At the age of five Jenna began playing T-Ball and progressed to softball. When she was nine years old, she won the Cleveland Youth Baseball Association Sportsmanship awards. Later, joining the Tarkington 4-H Club, with help from her Dad, Jenna began raising show animals. Her first year of showing animals at Cleveland Livestock Show and Dairy Days, Jenna showed a commercial heifer and baked a cake. The cake won grand champion and was purchased by Dr. Rick Kelley (RIP) for $750. Through the years, due to medications and hospitalizations, Jenna was not always able to show her animals for herself. However, thanks to family and her friends, her animals were always able to participate in the livestock shows.
Although her time was filled with school, showing animals and dealing with cystic fibrosis, Jenna wanted more. When she was eleven years old, she decided she wanted to be a cheerleader and began gymnastic classes. At thirteen, she accomplished her goal and became a cheerleader for Tarkington Middle School. Jenna cheered through her junior year, until the illness forced her into home school for her senior year. Proving that perseverance and hard work pays off, Jenna was a Who's Who Among American High School Students four years straight. She was also a National All-American Cheerleader Nominee and won the Varsity National Cheerleader Bid Award. She was on the A/B honor roll and was voted best dressed and freshman class favorite.
Jenna graduated from Tarkington High School and with a little help from her friends she walked across the stage to receive her diploma in May of 2003. She wanted to pursue nursing and started classes at Kingwood College in the fall of 2003. Due to a prior fungal infection in her lungs, doctors advised Jenna her only hope for survival was a double lung transplant. In January 2004, she received a new pair of lungs. Jenna was able to continue her college classes for five semesters until she began experiencing a transplant rejection. Her doctors would not advise a second transplant. Her prognosis was not good. She was told she only had approximately two months to live. Jenna decided she was going home to wish for a miracle.
Her miracle came true. During a regular doctor's visit, she received a big surprise when her doctor informed her that she was again a candidate for a lung transplant. Only three days later, she got her second pair of new lungs. Several days after the transplant, Jenna began having severe chest pains, two fungal infections was discovered in her lungs. Jenna fought the infections courageously, taking powerful medications and enduring another surgery. Her doctors informed Jenna and her family that there was no hope for her to survive.
After a long hard battle, Jenna received her wings on the evening of Mar. 1, 2006. She was loved and adored by everyone who knew her and will be deeply missed.
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