Twin Stanford alumnae to premiere documentary ‘The Power of Two’

Identical twins are accustomed to sharing everything. But twins ANABEL STENZEL and ISABEL STENZEL BYRNES, both ’94, share more than just a love of hiking and the same bright smile. Both were diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, an often fatal genetic lung disease, at three days old. And both received lifesaving double lung transplants from Stanford Hospital – Anabel in 2000 and then again in 2007 and Isabel in 2004.

The Power of Two, a documentary film about the Stenzel twins’ battle against cystic fibrosis and the challenges facing organ donation around the world, will make its Bay Area premiere on Saturday, Sept. 10, at San Francisco’s Castro Theater. A matinee screening will be held at 2 p.m., followed by a VIP reception at 6 p.m. and a gala screening at 7:30 p.m., which will be followed by performances by artists from the film’s soundtrack. Both screenings will include a Q&A with Anabel and Isabel and director/producer Marc Smolowitz. Tickets start at $20.

The Stenzels are now thriving after their transplants, but as The Power of Two illustrates, many patients in need of organ donations are not so lucky. The film documents Anabel and Isabel’s book tour (they wrote a memoir in 2007, also called The Power of Two) through Japan, their mother’s native country, which has the lowest rate of organ donation in the world due to cultural taboos against transplants. Leading American and Japanese experts, including Dr. BRUCE REITZ, the Norman E. Shumway Professor, Emeritus, at the Stanford School of Medicine and the surgeon who performed the twins’ transplants, discuss the future of organ donation and the need for advancements in the treatment of cystic fibrosis and other illnesses.

“I feel that the Stanford community could benefit from seeing this moving and educational documentary about the miracle of breath, the impact of culture and the drive to survive through the miracles of modern medicine,” Anabel Stenzel said.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Power of Two website.

—Robin Migdol