WACO, Texas (KWTX) Hundreds gathered in Waco Monday as Central Texans remembered and celebrated the life of Jenna Richbourg, a 2016 graduate of Midway High School who passed away Jan. 2 after a lifelong battle with a rare genetic disorder called MPS.
She was 19.
The disorder affected many aspects of Jenna’s life, including her heart and stature.
She had numerous surgeries over the years including ones on her heart, spine, hips, knees and other parts of her three-and-a-half-foot tall body, but her parents say while the disease left her with the inability to live a “normal life”, Jenna found joy.
“In retrospect, she lived an extraordinary life,” her parents told KWTX.
“She brought joy to other through her innocent, sweet disposition and sassy attitude.”
Several speakers were on hand for the Monday service at the Crestview Church of Christ, including former Alabama head football coach Gene Stallings, whose granddaughter was one of Jenna’s closest friends.
Following the service, a balloon release was held in Jenna’s honor at Oakwood Cemetery, where she was laid to rest.
Jenna was well-known around the community and beloved within the Midway Independent School District.
Midway teacher Leeann Fortenberry helped teach Jenna when she was in the fourth grade at South Bosque Elementary School and said she’s never seen a girl so loved.
“She was one of the most loved and stylish girls I’ve ever had the chance to help teach,” Fortenberry told KWTX.
“She didn’t let her disability slow her down.”
And she had the resume to prove it.
Jenna was very involved working alongside her mother in the Waco Chapter of the National Charity League, loved her church family, doctors and nurses who cared for her and also participated with great pride as a manager in the Midway Goal Tenders Dance Team.
In 2012, Jenna was chosen as a recipient by the Make A Wish Foundation, which made a dream Disney experience come true, including a surprise bon voyage party with Baylor's Chi Omega Sorority all dressed as Disney princesses to celebrate Jenna's special moment.
Friends tell KWTX, Jenna was an “Aggie at heart” and at the time of her passing was helping out at her parent’s store, The Design Center.
“She will be greatly missed,” Fortenberry said.
“She was an amazing young woman.”