“The Power of Two,” a new documentary that follows the recovery and advocacy efforts of Anabel Stenzel and Isabel Stenzel Byrnes, is opening at events across the country.
The Stenzel twins were born with cystic fibrosis. Both women were born with cystic fibrosis, and both successfully underwent double lung transplants. In the trailer (as seen above), one of the twins remarks, “When you receive a gift as amazing as a transplant, there is some sense of obligation to give back.”
And the twins are doing just that. The documentary raises awareness of the need for research into CF, which has no cure and limited therapies; it also aims to promote discussions on transplants in the U.S. But another mission, one the twins have embraced, is to change attitudes toward transplants in Japan; the twins are half-Japanese. In the trailer, one of the twins says they have friends in Japan who solicit donations for transplants.
For researchers, several familiar names helped in making the documentary possible. Francis Collins, MD, PhD, director of the National Institutes of Health, is quoted in the movie, as is Howard Koh, MD, assistant secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services. Bruce Reitz, MD, Norman Shumway Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Stanford Medicine – the man who performed the surgery on the twins – is also interviewed. Genetic Alliance is a partner of the documentary. (Stanford Medicine and Genetic Alliance are both Research!America members.)
“Advocacy is the engine of change,” Koh says in the trailer, “and the power of advocacy is it can start with one person. In this case, two people.” (Sound familiar?)
If you’re interested in seeing the movie, there are several upcoming screenings across the country over the next month and a half. Upcoming locations include San Diego; Louisville, KY; Akron, OH; Santa Fe, NM; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Stanford, CA; and St. George, UT. The documentary made its debut in New York, and Members of Congress turned up for a screening on Capitol Hill earlier this month.