Pursuing their dreams despite their setbacks
Soon enough, Anabel and Isabel went off to college at Stanford University. “As twins, we helped each other with chest percussion therapy so we could move away from home. We promised our parents we’d take good care of ourselves and take an exercise class each quarter. We both sought out psychotherapists to help us deal with being surrounded by future-oriented, high-achieving peers” said Isabel.
With hard work and dedication, the sisters managed to graduate with degrees in Human biology. Anabel received a Master of Science Degree in Genetic Counseling at the University of California and went on to become a genetic counselor. Isabel, on the other hand, received a Master’s Degrees in Social Work and Public Health from the University of California and went on to become a bereavement social worker. “It gives you a lot of confidence being at a facility with Stanford’s experience, reputation and expertise. I’m an alum and I work there, so I know it like the back of my hand. We are so grateful that we had this option” said Anabel.
The Stenzel twins also began to dedicate their lives to competing in the U.S. Transplant Games and advocating for cystic fibrosis among the cystic fibrosis and organ transplant community. They became well-known public speakers, travelling across three continents to promote organ donation and patient advocacy. “I want to encourage donor families to know that somebody out there is living and enjoying life and thinking of them on a moment-by-moment basis. I think of my donor family every single day” said Anabel.
Both Anabel and Isabel served as active Ambassadors for the California Transplant Donor Network, which aims to raise awareness about the vital need for saving and improving lives through organ and tissue donation.