On Jan. 10, 2017, Isabella (Bella) Oliveras, a PPF Member from Johnstown, PA, passed away in her sleep at home with her husband, Daniel.

Bella was a new member of PPF, having joined the Johnstown OC in 2016, but her impact on the organization was distinct. She brought her entire self to the membership assembly in October, sharing stories and poems, as well as laughter and love. Bella was also very close with Tiffany Walker, another Johnstown PPF member who passed away in December. We remember them both and their determination to fight for their own needs as well as those of their communities, friends and family. Bella was a veteran and a former nurse and paramedic. She was working tirelessly to raise money for a motorized wheelchair, which her insurance refused to pay for, despite its clear necessity.

PPF leader and Johnstown OC founder Danelle Morrow said,

“Bella was a ray of sunshine in my day every time I saw her. Tiffany brought her to her first PPF meeting here in Johnstown. She immediately wanted to fight, not just for herself but for anybody that was going through similar issues. She felt neglected and mis understood by her doctors. It was Bella and Tiffany that came up with the idea for Walk n Roll. She had a strong spirit, and a wonderful laugh. She had no hesitation to start trying to pull people into PPF. She was co-coordinator for the Johnstown OC. Reaching out, making phone calls and doing follow ups for me while I was busy working. Selfless, she wanted to make others feel better when they were in pain. She was so excited to be accepted by us with open arms. Eager to help in any way she could.”

Bella was also a poet. She wrote this inspired by the words and actions of Johnnie Tillmon and Mother Jones.

What it means to be a vibrant woman
To be bold and to stand up for what she believes in.
To dare to speak the truth and show respect where it’s due.
To be loved and be appreciated for who she is.
To know right from wrong.
To be a teacher and be a achiever.
To be a caretaker and to be a friend.
She’s a fighter, believer, lover and supporter but above all she’s a vibrant woman.

Put People First is deeply saddened at the loss of Bella and Tiffany. We will continue to be inspired by their lives, their vibrancy and their determination as we keep on in our fight.

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