Jamie Foxx “learned to live” from his sister with Down’s syndrome
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on TODAY on August 30, 2018. It was updated following the death of Jamie Foxx’s sister, DeOndra Dixon.
Actor and singer Jamie Foxx has won both an Oscar and a Grammy for his work, but as far as he’s concerned, his family’s real superstar is his younger sister, DeOndra Dixon.
In 2018, the artist opened up about the bond he shares with his brother, who has Down syndrome, in an interview with Dateline.
Foxx, 52, confirmed in an Instagram post Monday that Dixon, 36, had died.
“My heart is broken into a million pieces … my beloved step sister Deondra made the transition …” the actor wrote.
âI say in transition because she will still be aliveâ¦ everyone who knew my sisterâ¦ knew she was a shining lightâ¦â he continued. âWell I know she’s in Heaven now dancing with her wingsâ¦ even though my pain is unbelievable, I smile when I think of all the good memories she left with meâ¦ my family. .. and his friends.”
Foxx credits Dixon for giving his perspective on life.
âI have learned to live. Sometimes we get caught up in our world by the extras of everything – ‘Ah, the Mercedes is not the right color!’ “He told NBC News correspondent Kate Snow in 2018.” And then you see that girl over here. ‘I just want to live. I want to dance. I want to love.’ It brings you back to what life is.
Dixon has lived with her older brother since graduating from high school in 2002.
“I said, ‘You’re going to come here and stay here with me,'” said Foxx, who has invited many of the family to stay. âBut DeOndra was the main goal. I didn’t know what she was going to have to do to fend for herself and become an adult.
Dixon flourished while living with her brother. She danced with him on the Grammys stage and appeared in the music video for his hit song “Blame It”. She was also a Global Ambassador for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation.
âPeople with Down’s syndrome can truly have amazing lives,â said Michelle Sie Whitten, president and co-founder of the foundation.
“She has a brother who loves her, she has a great family, she does interesting things, she has things to look forward to – just like a typical person,” added Whitten.
Down syndrome is a genetic disorder that causes a wide range of developmental and physical disabilities. Decades ago, many children with Down’s syndrome were placed in institutions and died young. Today, many people with the disease live with their families, attend regular schools and live longer.
âMore and more people are considering going to university, more and more people are looking to get married. Many are looking for employment opportunities, âsaid Whitten.