Frontline fundraisers

Isabella with her grandfather
Walking out to see the ducks at the water’s edge was just one of the things Isabella loved about visiting her grandparents’ home. As the oldest grandchild in her family, she treasures the memories of fishing with her humble, outdoorsy grandfather — memories her younger cousins never got to make before losing him to esophageal cancer. While she still grieves her grandfather’s loss, one thing Isabella will never forget was the kindness and compassion her family received from the nurses who cared for him.


Witnessing that generosity at a young age is what inspired her to “pay it forward” by pursuing a career in nursing herself. “I wanted to be able to reflect the nurses that took care of him,” said Isabella, “to be the person that someone else could depend on for the kind, compassionate, precise care that he received. Now, I get to care for patients and their families the way my grandfather’s nurses cared for ours.”

But Isabella’s care for her patients doesn’t end with her shift — she is also a passionate advocate for Game On Cancer, fundraising annually with her Henry Ford Oncology coworkers on team Downriver Defense. For this team, Game On Cancer is not only a chance to support their community, but an extension of the care they can provide for their patients.

“As nurses, we hear our patients talk about what’s causing them stress — medication costs, bills, losing income from missing so much work — we hear about their needs, and our first thought is, ‘What can we do?’” Isabella shared.

“With Game On Cancer, we have the resources to connect with our amazing social workers and get that need taken care of directly. To be able to be on the front lines of that assistance with Game On Cancer, it’s amazing.”

When asked who she fights for as a Game On Cancer fundraiser, Isabella says it started with her grandfather, but the number grows with every patient she meets.

“I fight for him and all the years that were taken from our life journey together, and for each individual that I have cared for — each one gives me another reason to fight beside them. And until our patients no longer face these challenges, we’ll keep fighting.”

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