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Board of Directors


Bethany Johnson


Bethany is an Architect, Project Manager and President of the Board for Transplant Unwrapped. She has adapted and thrived despite struggles with GI issues her entire life. In 2018, she became an intestinal transplant patient, where she underwent life-saving surgery to remove her intestines. During recovery she decided to postpone transplant and continue to live dependent on I.V. nutrition which has allowed her to enjoy all aspects of life. Bethany is grateful for every day, good and bad, and seeks to share hope and passion with others living with chronic illness.  


Michele Pfab


Michele is the mother of our founder, Kayla Pfab.  She was at Kayla’s side every step of her journey as Kayla’s mom, advocate, caregiver, sounding board, sous-chef, and all-around cheerleader. She met many other incredible souls along the way suffering from chronic illness and receiving transplant. Michele wants to be able to give others the support she and Kayla felt from so many and access to knowledge that was not always easy to find.


Cheryl Pytel


Cheryl works in Data Management for a major health care distribution company. She has watched a close family member go through an intestinal transplant, knows how difficult it can be and understands how valuable it can be to access accurate information. It is important to Cheryl that others feel supported and have a network they can rely on. In her spare time Cheryl enjoys traveling and being outside. 

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Julia Wright

Board Member

 Julia Wright grew up in Henrico, VA, and she attended Christopher Newport University, where she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a Master’s degree in teaching. She spent over 5 years in the classroom before switching careers and becoming an associate underwriter for an insurance company in Richmond, VA. Julia spends her free time singing in the church choir, relaxing at Lake Gaston in North Carolina, working out at the gym, and visiting with friends and family. She resides in Chesterfield, VA with her husband, Brian, and dog, Sydnee. She has a passion for education, and she believes that everyone can learn something new.  


Hannah Cawoski

Board Member

Hannah Cawoski is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Duquesne University. She completed her PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency and a PGY-2 Pharmacy Residency in Pain Management and Palliative Care. She currently works as the Addiction Medicine Clinical Pharmacy Specialist at the Allegheny Health Network, Center for Inclusion Health. Her clinical areas of interest include acute pain, chronic pain, substance abuse, and addiction medicine.

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Jessika Atkins

Board Member

Jessika was born with intestinal malrotation that led to a volvulus in December 2019, resulting in the loss of her small intestine. She received an isolated small bowel transplant in March 2021. Ever since this medical emergency, Jessika has become very active in the intestinal transplant community. She spends as much time living her life to the fullest as she can. Jessika’s transplant journey has only strengthened this desire and now wants to help others going through the intestinal transplant journey to realize that life can be full despite the many ups and downs a transplant patient goes through. Jessika lives in Southern California with her family and her cat, Sassy. In her free time, Jessika volunteers at her local animal shelter, is active in her church community, and enjoys hiking and traveling.


Edie Portnoy

Board Member

Edie received her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Case Western Reserve University and her Masters of Science in Nursing from Ursuline College. Her passion is critical care nursing. Edie knows both sides of the bed, as she was diagnosed with gastroparesis and CIPO. She had an isolated small bowel transplant in 2015. She enjoys playing with her dog, Molly, and is an avid baseball fan. Edie is dedicated to Transplant Unwrapped's mission and to guiding others through their journey with intestinal disease. 

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Joan Bishop

Board Member

Transplant Unwrapped is excited to have Joan Bishop on the board as an advisor and Director of Organizational Development. Joan Bishop is also Executive Director and Conference Coordinator for the Oley Foundation—a national non-profit organization that provides information and support to patients with intestinal failure and consumers of parenteral nutrition. She has been with Oley since 1985—nearly its inception—and has served in many capacities, including the growth and development of the organization. As Executive Director, Joan handles the multitude of tasks it takes to keep Oley running and growing, including budget planning, building relationships, advocacy efforts, fundraising, board development, coordinating the annual conference, and more. She is dedicated to fulfilling the Foundation’s mission and welcomes your ideas, comments, and feedback.

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Kayla Pfab


Kayla was the President and Founder of Transplant Unwrapped. Kayla achieved a Bachelor of Health Sciences from Duquesne University and was pursuing her Master of Physician Assistant Studies when she became too ill and required transplantation. She received two transplants, including an isolated intestinal transplant in November 2015 and a modified multivisceral transplant (stomach, pancreas, duodenum, and small intestine) in February 2019.


Kayla lived her life to the fullest, full of hope until she gained her wings in February, 2022. We are eternally grateful for her vision and passion for helping others and her belief that the education of both patients and clinicians can lead to better relationships and outcomes.