Isabelle Christenson Memorial Scholarship Winners
Rachel's younger brother, Jonah, received a heart transplant at age 4. Jonah's heart began to fail at age 13 and he passed away before receiving another transplant. The community high school's student leadership planned an "iRun 4 Jonah" 5K walk/run fundraising event. Rachel was so moved that she and her family continue to organize iRun events that raise thousands of dollars for other students suffering from chronic illness.
Among her many volunteer efforts, Rachel is a Donate Life Ambassador for Lifeline of Ohio. She will major in psychology and be part of the Scholars Program at The Ohio State University.
Haley initially was exposed to transplantation in second grade when a friend's neighbor had two transplants, first as an infant and then as a young chld. In tenth grade, she met Izzie, who "hands-down" started Haley's interest in transplantation.
Later that summer, Haley's father needed a kidney transplant, which was donated by one of his brothers. For her senior project, Haley shadowed two medical professionals in the field of transplantation, and had an amazing opportunity to attend an organ recovery with CORE.
These experiences solidified her desire to become involved in the medical field with the dream of eventually becoming a transplant surgeon. This fall, Haley will pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing at Robert Morris University.
Ian spent the first 14 years of his life being chronically ill until he received his first transplant of a stomach, pancreas, and small intestine. In the summer of 2007, Ian lost all of his transplanted organs due to a blood clot. In 2008, he received another chance at life with transplants of small and large intestines, stomach, pancreas, and liver.
Ian volunteers as a camp counselor to children who have received gastrointestinal and liver transplants--one of his most rewarding experiences in offering normalcy to kids who feel "different."
Today, Ian is thriving and is attending the University of Pittsburgh and working toward a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, along wtih a minor in psychology. His experience has shown him what a great difference a nurse can make, and his goal is to work with chronically-ill children in any type of health care setting.
Megan's sister received a small bowel and liver transplant when she was a little over one-year old; but, at age 11, she died suddenly. The experience of losing the silliest, spunkiest, funniest, and most caring person she knew made Megan appreciate everything that she has.
Megan has volunteered at numerous organizations that help children with disabilities and life’s challenges. Giving back to kids with disabilities helps Megan keep the memory of her sister alive by helping others that were just like her. Meghan will attend High Point University and major in Communications/Journalism.
Madison (Maddie) Shinaberry
Maddie lived with Pulmonary Hypertension for two years before she became the recipient of a double lung transplant. After her transplant, Maddie began speaking to civic and professional organizations, medical professionals, and educators about the importance of organ donation.
In 2011, she drafted a legislative proposal that would require a minimum amount of education in Virginia's health class curriculum for high school freshman. Delegate Richard Bell introduced her legislation in the 2012 session of the Virginia General Assembly.
Maddie is grateful for her second chance at life and is using her experience to positively impact the lives of others. Maddie has been accepted at James Madison University where she will study biotechnology or biomedical engineering.