Jennifer Collins (Finance)
Jenny is the proud grandmother (Ama) of Izzy and mother of Tina. She was blessed to have been able to retire early with her husband, Bill, from the California State University, Chico so that she could spend more time with her new granddaughter, Izzy. They arrived at their new home in New England just six weeks before Izzy was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma. They spent the next 2½ years not only getting to know Izzy but supporting her and her family throughout her battle with cancer. This included time at MD Anderson in Houston, Tufts in Boston, and living for five months in Tubingen, Germany when Izzy had a stem cell transplant. Izzy’s little brother Fletcher was only 5 months old when they arrived in Germany and Jenny enjoyed helping to care for him as well as Izzy and her family. Jenny is very grateful to have been able to know Izzy and her fun, outgoing, energetic and loving spirit.
Jenny has a B.A. and M.A. from the California State University, Chico where she worked as the Director of Academic Resources and Evaluation. She is now using her budget and financial skills working as the Director of Finance with The Izzy Foundation. She loves spending her retirement working to ensure that Izzy’s beautiful life will continue to make a difference in the lives of others as she did in her Ama’s life.
Melissa Czerwein (Public Relations)
Melissa is focused on raising awareness about the Izzy foundation and its mission through communications and public relations. Rhode Island became home after meeting her amazing husband John and relocating from Washington State. For the past four years she’s served as the Senior Communications Manager at the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations from Central Washington University and spent seven years working for international communications agencies in Seattle before her cross-country trek.
Family is her number one priority. Spending time with John (Board of Directors) and being part of her two amazing step-daughters lives has truly changed her outlook on what it means to be happy and to have a greater purpose.
It is through John that she met the Wohlrab’s and became involved with the Izzy Foundation. After watching her father and Izzy battle this unforgiving disease The Izzy Foundation has created a way for her to make a difference in people’s lives and inspire them to smile, love and find hope.
Jeanne O’Brien (Social Media)
|Jeanne serves as The Izzy Foundation’s director of social media. She helps to maintain and update the foundation’s facebook page, twitter account and website. Jeanne’s hobby is photography which has enabled her to create memory photos of Izzy, framed images of Izzy for our events and the set of 5 different notecards that can be found on The Izzy Foundation page “Izzy’s closet”, all without taking a single photo of Izzy herself.Jeanne has 4 children, Avery, Evan, Quinn and Asher who keep her quite busy. She is a Certified Athletic Trainer and currently is the Assistant Director of Athletics for Sports Medicine at Bridgewater State University (MA).In January of 2012 Jeanne was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. It was through her oncologist, Izzy Foundation co-founder Ashley Stuckey, that she learned of Izzy and met Kyle and Tina. “I read Kyle and Tina’s blog about Izzy and their journey while going through my chemotherapy treatments. I was, and continue to be, so inspired by them all. What a remarkable ability to live, love, laugh (and of course play), to fight for life and to see the upside to life’s darkest moments. When I hit my darkest moments I thought of Izzy and those dark moments became brighter. I would remind myself ‘If Izzy could do it, I could too’, and I did.”Despite never meeting Izzy it seemed natural for Jeanne to get involved with The Izzy Foundation to spread the message of Izzy’s inspiration and to help, provide support and resources for families with children fighting cancer and other debilitating diseases.|
Lisa Ware (Outreach)
|Lisa’s main focus of the foundation is community outreach and fundraising events. Lisa and the dedication of many supporters and volunteers have put together several successful events; introducing the Izzy Foundation to the community. The fundraising events allow the foundation to grow and meet current and future goals; and to continue Izzy’s legacy to live, laugh, love and play. Lisa is the proud mother of daughters Joelle and Koren; she also shares her life with partner Louie. Lisa is a Surgical Technologist at Woman and Infants Hospital; she will complete her Bachelors Degree at Roger Williams University in Health Care Administration in the fall. Lisa, met Kyle and Tina during their first year residency at Women and Infants Hospital, over the years she watch them become Physicians’, Partners’ and Parents. Lisa has always admired their relationship from the beginning including their passion for one another and their family. She has had the honor to have been part of the most beautiful parts of their life (Birth of Isabelle). Next was Izzy’s journey, we were all grateful to be part of it through Izzy’s blog, thanks to her amazing parents. Izzy has taught Lisa and her family a great deal about life and unconditional love. Izzy touched and inspired so many lives, Lisa was very fortunate to be one of the lucky ones. She lives in a Purple world and is IZspired daily by Izzy.|