Her Life
The soul of Isabella, 17, was called home to Jesus after courageously battling DIPG, a terminal brain cancer, for almost one year. Isabella offered her sufferings and carried her cross with humble quietness, grace, and dignity. Just hours before passing she was Anointed and given the Apostolic Pardon.
Isabella was passionate about her faith and never shied from sharing it with others. She made friends with the Saints at a very early age and she spent much of her toddler years dressed as Mother Mary. The family takes comfort in the hope that she is now face to face with some of her most beloved heroes and heroines. Family was very important to her and she cherished time spent with her parents and three younger brothers who were her very best friends. Isabella was an "old soul" with a deep love for learning and the arts. She loved to read, and devoured books. As a homeschool student, she would read and reread her school material "just for fun." Tolkien was her favorite author and he inspired her to dream of becoming an author herself. Upon learning of her diagnosis she set forth to self-publish a fantasy book, Daughter of Kings, which she had written when she was just thirteen years old. A few months later, she and two of her friends compiled a collection of short stories and poems written by Catholic Youth, and self published Pens Set Aflame: An Anthology of Poetry and Prose, with the proceeds from sales going to EWTN. Given more time, it is certain she would have published more work. She also dreamed of attending a Newman Guide recommended college, becoming a wife, and most of all, a mother. The family hopes she is enjoying her Eternal reward "mothering" many, entertaining the angels and saints with her sarcasm and wit, filling notebooks with new ideas, admiring her Creator's great artwork, and basking in His great love for her. May her soul bring many souls to Him. May she be living her very own "happily ever after," in the greatest story ever written.

The Earliest Days:  She came into this world crowned with dark waves.  Her blue eyes windows to the depths of her beautiful soul.  Inquisitive and strong, she explored her new world with wonder and we watched in awe, contemplating how someone so perfect had been given to us.  Our hearts burst with love for her from the moment we knew she was with us nine months before we met in this world.   We quickly learned she had a lively sense of humor.  Her favorite entertainment, which always produced a hearty laugh, was messing with her furry, four-legged friend, whose name became her first word.  Upon waking in the morning we would enter her room only to hear her imploring her "Aggie" to come to her.  Shaggy was a good sport and barely raised a brow as she climbed his back and pulled his tail with a sparkle in her eye and laughs falling from her lips.

The Early Days:  Her long gone dark waves were replaced by golden locks shimmering in the sun, and her days were busy, filled with laughter and adventures with her newest best pal, this time with only two legs and no tail.  He had his own crown of dark waves and soon followed her every footstep.  Friends forever, from the very beginning.  She in her dresses.  He with his trucks.  Her faith was strong and she never shied from showing it.  Our little evangelizer wanted everyone to share her love for Jesus.  For months she roamed the house, baby doll in her arms, and dishcloth on her head.  Always emulating Modduh Mary.  

The Middle Years:  Her crew grew and she fit perfectly into the role of biggest sister. A passion for reading and learning permeated her soul, and still does.  Creativity a gift among many gifts, she loved acting, drawing, writing, and creating video animation.  Our home had become her library and she had read every book...probably twice.

The Early Teen Years:  Sketch books, notebooks, and journals full of story ideas and artwork are her prize possessions.  Sarcasm and wit followed by eruptions of laughter from a houseful of fans, are a daily occurrence.  100% is all she accepts and she is much too hard on herself.  She is every parent's dream.  Polite, self-motivated, determined, and faith-filled. LOTR and Hobbit have entered the picture and are a source of delight for her.  She begins dabbling in cosplay and becomes an expert in braiding her own hair.  Her love for learning is a fire that never is extinguished.  She loves literature and history and is content to sit in a chair for hours, nose in book. She is pure delight to have in our home.

The Battle:  She has put on her armor for a battle she never wanted to fight, but fight she will, because that is who she is.  We do not know how long the enemy has been growing within, but when he reared his ugly head in the form of weakness, slurred speech, and lack of coordination, he moved quickly.  He does not realize who he is up against though.  This girl will not let him win.  He may eventually win the earthly battle, but the joke is on him, because her most powerful weapon is a love of Him who is not of this world.  You see this world is only a stepping stone, a blink of an eye, a stop on the journey to a bigger world for which we were all created for.  She knows this, and this alone is enough to give her everything she needs to defeat him.  She is strong.  She is loved.  She is not afraid to show her fears and seek support.  She will cling to Him who gave her life.  She will cling to Him who loves her more than we can fathom.  She will cling to Him and He will carry her.  He will carry us all.

Present:  After offering her sufferings and crosses with quiet and humble grace, Isabella ended her mission on earth.  Her soul lives on and we invite you to continue to pray with us, that her soul is in heaven, and that she will bring many souls to Our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Our Raw Hearts' First Response: Isabella was taken to the ER in 2019, after displaying increasingly concerning symptoms.  Slurred speech, difficulty walking, driving, and drinking.  An MRI showed a mass in her brain and she was transferred via ambulance to the ER at the University of Iowa.  Within days our worst fears were confirmed and she was diagnosed with a DIPG tumor.  A devastating diagnosis and a cross which feels too heavy to bear.  She needs all the prayers she can get and we are begging for a miracle, knowing that Our Lord instructs us to ask, and to ask big.  We will.  We will ask big.  We will ask, and we will pray.  We may even dare to hope, but if our miracle does not present in the way we are hoping we trust that He will shower us with His peace.  We are all only travelers here for a short while.  This is NOT our final destination, and what He has in store for us is beyond our comprehension.  Jesus, we trust in You.