Hollywood actor Jamie Foxx said “my heart is shattered into a million pieces” following the death of his younger sister at the age of 36.
Foxx said Deondra Dixon, who had Down’s syndrome and was an ambassador for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, “is in heaven now dancing with her wings on”.
The Oscar-winning star, 52, shared an emotional tribute to his sister on Instagram.
Foxx, 52, posted: “Deondra… I love you with every ounce of me.”
Alongside pictures of the pair together, the Ray and Django Unchained star wrote: “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.”
He added: “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.”
The Global Down Syndrome Foundation said Dixon died on 19 October.
A tribute published on the Foundation’s website read: “Deondra was brought into this world in a loving family who treated her like any other family member. They gave her the gifts of complete acceptance, confidence, and knowledge. They empowered her to graduate with a regular diploma from high school and to take life by storm, which, if you knew Deondra, she absolutely did.
“We have lost our talented, intelligent, feisty, beautiful, kind, loving, caring, pure and giving heart, DeOndra Dixon. Our Down syndrome community has lost a beacon of hope, a true leader, and role model whose aim was to always help others. She was a bright light in this world of ours.”
Dixon’s profile on the foundation’s website reads: “I feel I was born to dance. I want to be a professional dancer. My brother has given me a chance to do some special things. I danced in his video Blame It. I’ve danced on stage at some of his concerts all over the country. And guess what? I’ve danced at the Grammys!
“I know my family loves me. They never set limits and always make me feel I can touch the sky.”
What is Down’s syndrome?
- For between 700 and 1,000 babies born, one will have Down’s syndrome, meaning they have an extra chromosome and a learning disability
- About 40,000 people in the UK have the condition
- Around half of those have congenital heart defects with some requiring surgery
- 80% of children with the condition are born to women younger than 35
- In the 1960s, life expectancy was 15 – it is now between 50 and 60
Dixon was very involved in the foundation’s Be Beautiful Be Yourself fashion shows which raise money for the foundation and walked the catwalk with the likes of Eva Longoria – who has a sister with Down’s syndrome – and Queen Latifah.
Messages of support have been posted since Foxx broke the news, including some from the celebrity world.
Foxx’s Just Mercy co-star Michael B Jordan wrote: “Here for you brother! No words can ease what you’re going through but the Jordan’s are here for you and your family!”
Oscar winner Viola Davis also offered condolences: “So so sorry Jamie. I know how much you loved your sis. She was so blessed to have you. Rest well Deondra!”
Writer, director and actress Lena Waithe said: “I’m so sorry for your loss. Sending you so much love right now.”
And Jurassic World actor Chris Pratt commented: “So sorry for you loss Jamie. Prayers up for your sweet sister.”