After 2 decades of kidney disease and several years of dialysis, Gloria received the gift of life through a paired kidney exchange.
When it comes to advocating for organ donation, Isabelle is a force to be reckoned with. A nurse, a nurse educator, a researcher, and a living kidney donor, she’s a passionate and compassionate, determined woman.
In 2018, Isabelle decided that in this complicated and difficult world, she could do something personal and meaningful to make the world better. And so she became a lifesaver – a living kidney donor.
“I first became curious about living donation when I saw a billboard by a would-be recipient asking for a living kidney donor. Why would I donate was one question, but equally important was the question, why not?”
In the summer of 2018, Isabelle allowed a transplant team from Legacy Transplant Services to remove her left kidney and transport it to an anonymous recipient in Wisconsin. She has since learned that her donation saved the life of a mother and grandmother whose life and relationships had been hindered by illness and extensive dialysis treatments. Isabelle’s kidney has allowed her recipient to have the time and improved health so that she’s able to once again focus on her family.
Just because Isabelle’s donation process is complete doesn’t mean she’s finished. As a person who cares deeply about people and is known for bringing people together, Isabelle has gone deeper – getting more involved professionally and personally. She was able to receive grant funding through the Dundon Berchtold Ethics Institute to help her undergraduate nursing students at the University of Portland to examine the ethical and cultural implications of organ donation. She also continues to be a faithful volunteer for Donate Life Northwest’s Erase the Wait mentorship program and We Encourage Living Donation (WELD) program, which she has been a member of since the very beginning of the Portland chapter.
Isabelle is a lifesaving kidney donor, and she’s also an inspiration. Her fellow volunteers describe her with glowing words: “kind,” “thoughtful,” “caring,” “creative,” and “an all-around great person.” Her Erase the Wait mentee, Margaret Shortreed describes Isabelle this way: “She was comforting and very supportive, and she encouraged me. She was there through the whole thing, before, during, and after. I couldn’t have been blessed with a better mentor.”