Hundreds of mourners paid their respects Sunday to Jasmina Anema, the courageous 6-year-old girl who with her irrepressible spirit inspired thousands to become bone-marrow donors – and even managed to win the hearts of Rihanna and President Obama.
“Jasmina’s life was short but incredible,” family friend Karen Detrick told the tearful crowd gathered at Industria Studios in New York City’s West Village. “Her unyielding spirit moved a city, then a nation, then the whole world.”
With her adoring mother, Thea Anema, at her bedside, Jasmina lost her battle with a rare, aggressive leukemia on Jan. 27 at NYU Langone Medical Center, where she had spent much of the last year.
Katharina Harf of DKMS Americas, the world’s largest bone-marrow registry, worked with Jasmina and her mom to hold drives and find a bone-marrow match for Jasmina. “Jasmina’s spunky attitude and big smile was irresistible,” Harf told PEOPLE. “I will carry her smile in my heart always.”