In her own special way, Jalyn Francis always goes out of her way to support her friend Sofia. No matter what Sofia is doing, there’s a piece of her friend Jalyn right there with her, helping her as she goes.
Both girls love dancing. Jalyn could find the beat in anything—she could dance to the sounds of car horns blowing in a traffic jam if the mood took her. It’s a trait shared by Sofia, who at five is already taking ballet and tap lessons and was the queen of the dance floor when her parents took her to a family wedding last year.
Although Jalyn could often be a joker with a silly side, she could be shy too. Sometimes a little warming up to the audience was needed before she let her hair down—but after that, look out. She could sing and crack jokes from morning ’til night. And like Jalyn, that carefree spirit gets a hold of Sofia from time to time too. As if taking a cue from Jalyn, Sofia’s a natural conversationalist who loves the spotlight. She will tell joke after joke until everyone in her audience is laughing. (Sometimes the audience is laughing more at Sofia’s performance than her actual material, but either way, Sofia always gets them smiling!)
But when it comes to spreading joy, there’s more to Jalyn and Sofia than jokes and dance moves. Each child can be very thoughtful as well. Like that one Christmas, where Jalyn received a Dora the Explorer bubble kit she wanted but lovingly gave to a cousin, who was upset she didn’t get Dora bubbles.
That sweet, empathetic nature has rubbed off on her friend Sofia too. Sofia was born with medical issues and has spent more than her fair share of time in or visiting the hospital. But no matter how she feels, she’s always much more concerned about the other children she sees in the hallways and waiting rooms than herself. And if Sofia finds out a classmate is feeling sick, she’s been known to break out the markers and paper and spend hours creating a custom get well card. (She does custom birthday cards too.)
Jalyn and Sofia have a lot in common, including a kidney. Jalyn was killed in a tragic automobile accident in October of 2010. That day her parents made the decision to donate Jalyn’s organs so that other children—children like Sofia who desperately needed an organ transplant—could live. Since then a small part of Jalyn has been with Sofia, supporting her health, growth and life, every single day. The two girls will forever have a special bond, joining two lives in a unique and unforgettable way.
“I lost Jalyn, but knowing that her kidney is helping Sofia live helps me,” says Jalyn’s father Ric. “This way she is still alive.”
To learn more about organ donation, including how you can register yourself or a family member, please visit Donate Life’s website.