Now 23 years old, Jenna is a survivor of childhood cancer, earned a black belt in karate, played percussion in the “pit” of her high school marching band, and is going to college to become a special education teacher. This young woman has an indomitable, effervescent spirit that inspires all who get to know her.
There have been two major medical seasons of Jenna’s life. The first began at four days old when she was diagnosed with WAGR Syndrome and lasted through age three. During that time, we did surveillance on her kidneys and she received chemotherapy and surgery as a two year old. Jenna remained resilient through it all, sitting up to watch medical personnel administer two chemo drugs through the port in her little chest.
The next decade of her life was filled mostly with developmental issues and therapies and then her vision began deteriorating during her high school years. The past six years have been filled with a series of extremely delicate surgeries on her eyes. Jenna has battled glaucoma and scar tissue, and undergone two corneal stem cell transplants, a cornea transplant, and much, much more. It has been a very arduous road for her but she remains as determined as ever.
During this very same season of eye surgeries and while on immunosuppressive drugs, Jenna has managed to graduate from high school and also earned her Associate of Arts degree. She is presently pursuing her Bachelor’s degree online. All this, with low vision that has ranged from 20/200 at best to worse than 20/800 and having a condition which causes involuntary movement of her eyes. Ever steadfast, she works very diligently to keep up with her schoolwork.
Jenna also enjoys walking and hiking. She remains very active in her local church. She also enjoys spending time with her lab-to-leash rescue beagle, Maizey Grace, whom she has loved for a dozen years now.
International WAGR Syndrome Association
PO Box 2875
Montgomery Village, MD 20886