Human Interest

Jamie Foxx remembers late sister DeOndra Dixon on World Down Syndrome Day

Jamie Foxx, Down syndrome, DeOndra Dixon

Actor Jamie Foxx is keeping the memory of his sister alive, months after her death. Foxx’ sister, DeOndra Dixon, had Down syndrome, and she passed away in October at the age of 36. Foxx has continued speaking about his love for his sister, with whom he had a very close bond, and honored her for World Down Syndrome Day last month.

Dixon and Foxx had lived together since 2002, and Foxx had previously said that it was Dixon who taught him what is most important in life. “Sometimes we get caught up in our world on the extras of everything — ‘Ah, the Mercedes is not the right color!’ And then you see this girl over here,” he said. “‘I just want to live. I want to dance. I want to love.’ She brings you back down to what life is.” Dixon competed in the Special Olympics, and was named the 2011 Ambassador for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation.

Dixon loved to dance, and appeared in Foxx’ “Blame It” music video, on stage with him at concerts across the country, and during the Grammy Awards. “Lots of kids with Down syndrome never get a chance to shine or chase their dreams,” she wrote about the experience. “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.”

READ: Jamie Foxx says he ‘learned how to live’ from his sister with Down syndrome

In an interview with PEOPLE, Foxx had previously spoken about how Dixon having Down syndrome never made a difference for their family. “We weren’t trippin’ on the fact that she had Down syndrome,” he said. “We were trippin’ on the fact that she was cute. She was this little chocolate ball.”

Since her death, Foxx has continued his sister’s advocacy, creating a research fund in her name for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. Journalist Craig Melvin asked Foxx how he’s been handling the loss, and Foxx replied, “It’s tough, man.”

He also has been open about his grief on Instagram, where multiple posts have featured Dixon. On World Down Syndrome Day, he posted a picture of Dixon, and wrote, “My heart… my breath… my soul… I hear your laughter in the house… I hear you sliding down the stairs… my heart… my breath… my soul… I love u Deondra my angel.”

In another post, he posed with a painted portrait of Dixon, looking emotional. “Receiving this gift came at the right time in my life,” he wrote. “I miss my angel. With this, you gave her back to me.”

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