Jordin Sparks' 16-Year-Old Stepsister Dies After Complications From Sickle Cell Anemia
By Jennifer Drysdale
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Dick Clark Productions
Jordin Sparks and her family are mourning the death of her stepsister, Bryanna Jackson-Frias.
The singer's 16-year-old stepsister died on Tuesday of complications from sickle cell anemia. Sparks' mom, Jodi Jackson, took to Facebook on Wednesday to pay tribute to her daughter, writing, "Bry went peacefully to Heaven. I can't help to think [that] she's smiling just like this. Thank you all for your prayers."
Bryanna had struggled with sickle cell anemia -- which causes red blood cells to get stuck in small blood vessels, blocking blood flow and preventing oxygen from reaching tissues -- throughout her life.
Sparks asked fans to pray for her sister last Thursday, sharing a photo of Bryanna on her Instagram story. "Please keep my little sister, Bryanna, in your prayers. She’s suffering from complications from sickle cell and is in the ICU fighting for her life."