Izzie’s Gift of Hope Foundation Scholarship Winners


Jacob Ball (Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania)

During the tumultuous time when his younger brother, Luke, was waiting for a heart transplant, Jacob helped his family by mentoring his three other younger brothers. Luke received a heart transplant in 2010. Today, Jacob continues to support organ, tissue and cornea donation by sharing his brother’s story. He is looking forward to college at the University of Delaware and pursuing a future in biomedical engineering, where he hopes to contribute to advancements in the field of transplantation.

Kelli Jo Lovich (Butler, Pennsylvania)

Her 4-year-old son, Colbee, died tragically four years ago and became an organ donor, saving the lives of three others. The Lovich family has been a strong advocate for organ donation, establishing a memorial scholarship fund to support qualifying applicants’ further education as well as fund one year of daycare tuition for a 4-year-old whose family is in financial need. Inspired by the work of a nurse during her son’s care, Ms. Lovich is working toward becoming a flight nurse, attending classes at Butler County Community College now, and starting at UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing soon.

Lauren Shields (Stony Point, New York)

After being diagnosed with an enlarged heart and heart failure, Ms. Shields received a transplant in March 2009 when she was 8 years old. She and her family became involved in raising organ donation awareness across the state. On Oct. 4, 2012, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed “Lauren’s Law” to increase the number of organ donors in New York state by adding the option to designate oneself as an organ donor on a driver’s license application. Nine years after her transplant, she will attend Quinnipiac University in the fall with plans to become a pediatric cardiologist.

Paul Staton (Upper Arlington, Ohio)

His dad’s kidneys began to fail when Paul was in middle school. Until his dad received a kidney transplant in October 2013, the nightly eight-hour dialysis treatment greatly affected his dad’s ability to be engaged with Paul’s sporting events. Paul became an energetic advocate for organ donation awareness and volunteered with LifeLine of Ohio, and organ procurement organization. This fall, he will be a sophomore at the University of Cincinnati with a focus on marketing and international business.