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Episode 26 — Surrendering Our Isaac

Colleen Umali checks in on the stem cells she's been researching.

Colleen Umali's plan was simple enough. She wanted to pursue a career in medicine and worked hard to make that a reality through her schooling and educational pursuits. But when things started to change in her life and she felt the Lord asking her to give more of herself, she was faced with a new conflict. Colleen was able to give up different aspects of her life and give God her 'yes', but there was one thing that she was still holding back: her career.

In the pursuit of doing God's will, Colleen saw that once she surrendered to Him, He made everything work in her life. She landed a job at STEMCELL Technologies (where she still works) and even found a way to integrate some of her other interests, like photography, into her current work.

Take a listen to our conversation about the journey Colleen has taken with Christ, how she's learned that faith and science don't have to be in conflict, and how she's seen her feminine genius grow throughout:

"I think it's a prayer that a lot of us Catholics have — 'Oh Lord, help me to trust you more, help me to give you more of my life' — [but] in asking that, we actually have to put in the effort and actually do the work to give ourselves to God." — Colleen Umali

Meet Colleen Umali

Lifelong Catholic and future dog mom Colleen Umali has a deep passion for science, photography, God, sunsets, and fried chicken. From a young age, Colleen had her life carefully planned out (labelled lifeplan.doc on her computer) but God had other ideas. It was a rollercoaster ride which led her to the biotechnology company STEMCELL Technologies, where she currently spends her time raising baby kidneys for research. When not in lab, you can find her exploring the beauty of the Lower Mainland. Colleen loves being outside because it is where she feels God’s presence the most. With her camera in hand, she likes to suffer through hikes with steep elevation changes for the view and not the exercise. Colleen aspires to travel the world, loves to spend weekends binge watching Netflix shows, gets overexcited about food, and makes high pitched squeaks when puppies and babies are around.


You can learn more about STEMCELL Technologies by checking out their website,

Colleen is a super talented photographer! If you want to see her work (and maybe hire her to get some shots of you!), you can check out her work on Instagram and VSCO, both @ceefraan.

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