Jenna and Lisa Jenkins Memphis, TN 619 Votes
My hero is Jenna Ricci. She is my 28 year old sister, born with spina bifida and severe hydrocephalus. When she was born, the doctors told my mom that she was the worst case seen, to put her in a home, to forget about her. The doctors said she would never know she was here. “She most certainly would never speak”, they said. After hearing words of how her special baby would ‘ruin her life’, my mom put Jenna in Gods hands, beginning a journey that has been challenging, yet blessed beyond words. They are never apart and Jenna talks more than anyone I have ever met…it’s the sweetest sound. Her laughter alone fills my heart up. She is my moms sunshine on a rainy day, her pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, her inspiration, her life….Jenna is the greatest gift God has blessed us with. She is our angel. Through 17 surgeries, countless times on respirators, Jenna has never stopped smiling or giving her hugs. She has touched so many lives by her unwavering spirit and joy….her love for life and others, in spite of her disability. Her personality, joy, and laughter will light up a room. Strangers flock to her upon hearing her contagious laugh. She has such a pure loving spirit that draws people in. My mom is my hero as well because she gave everything up, devoting her entire self, to give Jenna the best life possible. 28 years later, they are still hand in hand, each others best friend. It touches my heart to see how much my mom has done to give Jenna everything she can humanly do. Focusing on what Jenna can instead of cannot do, Jenna was on a baseball team ,dance teams, and rode horses for ten years. My mom worked hard to get Jenna her CCI service dog. Nursing home residents are lifted up by visits from them. My mom is a breast cancer survivor as well. She gets her strength from God to keep persevering for herself and Jenna. It has been several years now that my mom hasn’t been able to lift Jenna. Not having an accessible vehicle, they can’t leave the house without help. Always remaining positive, these two are the foundation of our family. Most don’t even know the trials they endure because of their happy spirits in spite of.