A few hours after her birth, pediatricians confirmed that Jenna was born with down syndrome, this had gone undetected throughout what was a normal, healthy pregnancy.
Jenna was born a month early in June 2006. This in itself was a surprise to her parents and brothers, but this was not the only surprise Jenna had in store for her family. A few hours after her birth, pediatricians confirmed that Jenna was born with down syndrome, this had gone undetected throughout what was a normal, healthy pregnancy.
And this was to be the start of Jenna’s journey.
Jenna was also born with congenital cataracts which at six weeks old were removed, as well as the lenses behind her eyes. At nine-months-old, Jenna was rushed to Starship Hospital and diagnosed with type-1 diabetes. The family then embarked on another learning curve of how to manage this life-long condition which includes diet management and administering insulin through a needle at least three times a day.
At a year old, Jenna returned to Starship for a week to undergo open heart surgery to mend a 20mm hole in her heart. After this surgery Jenna started to lose her hair and was diagnosed as having alopecia. Thankfully her eyelashes and eyebrows have started to return.
Jenna lives in Auckland with her parents Tracy and Darryl and older brothers Tyler and Kalem.
Jenna attends school which she absolutely loves. Jenna also loves to dance and listen to music.
Cure Kids-funded research has had world-first breakthroughs in hole-in-the-heart and type-1 diabetes treatments.