Supporting Isabella

Juniors start a fundraiser to aid a friend in need


Swann and Ramirez wear their “Zambrano” shirts

Junior Isabella Zambrano’s friends and fellow Silver Wings, juniors Reghan Swann, Katia Ramirez, Taylor Usey and Haneul Kim, started selling T-shirts and bracelets in support of Zambrano by donating the money collected towards her cause.

On Oct. 21, Zambrano fainted after giving a performance with Silver Wings at a football game. Later, it was discovered Zambrano suffered from a stroke and a blood clot.

“At first I was really shocked and I felt numb [when I found out what happened],” Ramirez said. “I didn’t really know what to think, but then the Sunday after, it hit me hard and I balled my eyes out. Because why her? Out of all people it had to be my best friend.”

A GoFundMe was started by Zambrano’s neighbor, Imelda Rivera-Arroyo, with a goal of raising $20,000 to help her family cover medical expenses. Rivera-Arroyo continues to post updates on Zambrano’s status on the GoFundMe page.

“We just realized that the ambulance, hospital and helicopter [were] going to [cost] a lot of money [for the family],” Swann said. “We just wanted to help out as much as we could.”

After Zambrano’s incident, her friends decided it was time to do something to help.

 “I know with the bracelets, the GoFundMe and T-shirts, it’s going to be a huge help to her family,” Ramirez said. “It’s going to be a lot to take off their plate.”

The bracelets, with ‘Team Isa’ printed on them, are being sold for three dollars for students, and six dollars for adults. The T-shirts are being sold for 25 dollars each.

Swann and Ramirez wear “Team Isa” bracelets

“A lot of people in our classes who have never even talked to her still donate money and buy the bracelets,” Ramirez said. “Stuff like that just makes us realize how caring people are and how supportive they are.”

The group has been getting a lot of positive feedback for what they’ve been doing for Zambrano.

“I think a lot of people are caring,” Kim said. “They always ask things to check up on her, even people we barely know or people we didn’t know who knew Isabella.”

Zambrano’s friends have visited her in the hospital to check up on her. Visiting is not open to everyone and has to be approved by Zambrano’s mother.

“[Isabella’s] a really good motivator,” Usey said. “And we make posters to motivate her that say things like, ‘you got this.’”

The bracelets and T-shirts will continue to be for sale until around next semester; donations are also accepted. Zambrano’s friends hope with the support of her friends, family and peers, she will hopefully recover.

“With all of us there for her, she’ll know that she’ll get better,” Usey said. “She has all of our support.”

Swann and Ramirez wear "Team Isa" on their sleeves.
Swann and Ramirez wear “Team Isa” on their sleeves.