Our Friend Ana Stenzel -Honored For Organ Donation Work After Her Death

By cbs-san francisco
Published on December 11, 2014

Ana Stenzel -Honored For Organ Donation Work After Her Death

A Bay Area woman who crusaded for more people to become organ donors is being honored, even after her death.

Ana Stenzel and her twin sister were first featured two years ago as KPIX 5 Jefferson Award winners for their work with organ donation.

“My sister and I were dying and were at the end of our lives when families said yes to donation,” her sister Isabel Stenzel Byrnes.

Ana received a double lung transplant in 2000 and a second double lung transplant in 2007. She traveled, hiked, ran marathons and made the most of her second and third chances until she died last year from cancer.
The double donor recipient never forgot what others gave her, so she donated what she could — her eyes.
Thanks to Ana’s donation, two people in Maryland were able to get the gift of sight again.

“She loved to travel and see the world and so I’m really blown away that two other people in the world can now see out of her eyes,” Isabel said.
One of the persons Ana helped is a grandmother who is able to watch movies with her grandson again.

On Monday at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, her family and friends decorated a floral portrait. Ana was chosen along with other donors to be honored at next year’s Rose Parade in Southern California. Her picture will be placed on the Donate Life float.

“I loved Ana very much and to see that she’s honored this way with so many of our friends and her coworkers here is great,” said Trent Wallace, Ana’s husband.

The California Transplant Donor Network says one organ donor can help save up to 60 people. And for Ana’s family, it means she still lives on.
“To be able to recognize what she did at the end of her life makes me feel like there was some meaning in her death,” Isabel said.
Tissue Banks International, the non-profit that focuses on cornea transplants, says through donations, they are able to help 150,000 each year.


My original post on September 23, 2013:

My friend Ana Stenzel passed away this morning while fighting intestinal cancer. Ana successfully fought so hard against Cystic Fibrosis. She received received the gift of new life and new breath in the form of a double lung transplants in 2000. Ana and her twin sister Isabel climbed a 10,000 foot mountain peak, ran a half marathon, swam and ran in the U.S. Transplant Games and traveled across three continents advocating for transplantaion and organ donation. Two years ago Ana recently rose to meet the Planet C challenge and was one of the bravest women I have ever met. Ana was an inspiration to all those in the Transplant community as well as a source with information ready to help candidates waiting for The Gift Of Life. Thank you for your optimism and for your fighting spirit. Thanks for asking the important questions and for participating in our volunteer Transplant group.

Ana will be sorely missed. The word has lost a tough, compassionate Champion of Life.

Inspired by their 2007 memoir, their film “The Power Of Two” offers an intimate portrayal of the bond between half-Japanese twin sisters Anabel Stenzel and Isabel Stenzel Byrnes, their battle with the fatal genetic disease cystic fibrosis and miraculous survival through double lung transplants.

Ana and Isa’s film trailer is available here and Ana is the first to speak: Watch the trailer where Ana is the first to speak:

More information about the film is here.

I send my hearfelt condolences to Trent Wallace, Ana’s husband and Isabel Stenzel Byrnes and Andrew Byrnes. – Mike Sosna

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