Jamie Foxx is devastated after losing his younger sister, DeOndra Dixon, who passed away this month at the age of 36. Dixon, who was diagnosed with Down syndrome but didn’t let it affect her quality of life, died on Monday, Oct. 19. Taking to Instagram, Foxx posted a series of photos of Dixon, including several of the two siblings posing together. The Oscar-winning actor also posted a lengthy tribute message honoring his sister, expressing just how heartbreaking the tragic loss has felt.
“My heart is shattered into a million pieces… my beautiful loving sister Deondra has transitioned… I say transitioned because she will always be alive… anyone who knew my sis… knew that she was a bright light… I can’t tell you how many times we have had parties at the house where she has got on the dance floor and stolen the show… even gave her boyfriend @chrisbrownofficial a run for his money.”
“Well I know she is in heaven now dancing with her wings on…tho my pain is unbelievable I smile when I think of all of the great memories that she left me… my family… and her friends… from dancing in the blame it video… to Dancing on the Grammys… And becoming The ambassador to @globaldownsyndrome… from sliding down my stairs with a grin as wide as the rio grand… to serenading us with all of her music… Deondra you have left A hole in my heart… but I will fill it with all of the memories that you gave me … I love you with every ounce of me… our family is shattered but we will put the pieces back together with your love… and y’all please keep my family in your prayers…”
Dixon was born on Sept. 6, 1984, in Dallas, Texas, later relocating to Thousand Oaks, California to live with family. She began participating in the Special Olympics in 6th grade, winning multiple medals and awards over the next nine years. A natural performer, she enjoyed acting in school plays and taking part in all school dances. In 2011, she was named as the Ambassador for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation and also won the Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award.
“Lots of kids with Down syndrome never get a chance to shine or chase their dreams,” Dixon’s profile on the foundation’s website reads. “Each one has something to offer and each one has a dream. Please help me and my family to advocate for so many beautiful and brilliant children with Down syndrome who’ve been neglected. Together we will make dreams come true.”
When Foxx was performing music live, he’d often invite Dixon onto the stage with him to dance for the fans. He also included her in the music video for his song Blame It and brought her along to the Grammys for even more dancing. Her story was told in a tribute video uploaded by the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, which includes photos, video footage, and interviews with Dixon, Foxx, and other members of their family.
Foxx also spoke about the love he had for his sister last year during an interview with Extra. “What’s great about DeOndra is that when people meet her they sort of lose that apprehension when they see people with special needs,” the actor explained. “DeOndra just blows right past them… That’s a testament to Mom. Mom asked the kids at the school to just look out for her but treat her normal. She’s had a regular life, she’s just as well-adjusted as any person that you would see out there.”
In a 2011 interview with People, Dixon similarly expressed how much she cared for her big brother. At the time, she told the publication that she was “happy to have a big brother to count on,” noting that she loved Foxx “every day.” In the same article, Foxx also stressed how the love that you get from individuals with special needs is “unfiltered,” adding that there is “nothing in the way of them loving you and nothing in the way of them being upset with you either.”
We offer our condolences to Foxx and Dixon’s family at this difficult time. It appears that everyone who had met DeOndra was lucky to have known her, and Foxx will never forget the impact she’s had on his life. “I learned how to live,” Foxx also told Dateline in 2018, adding that his sister “brings you back down to what life is.” May she rest in peace. This news comes to us from People.