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ella balasa


Ella is 27 years old and was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia where she currently resides. She was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at 18 months old. Her family is Hungarian and she has enjoyed traveling to Europe growing up, and on recent trips as her health has allowed. She has a B.S. in biology and works in an environmental microbiology lab. She finds the connection between the same bacteria that live in CF lungs and the way they thrive in the environment fascinating.  

Along with an interest in science, she has developed a passion for writing. Over the past few years, becoming more involved within the CF community, she has received much joy from both gaining and giving support to others that face the same challenges with this disease. Her involvement in the CF community has expanded through serving on various committees, research related events, and serving as a director for CF Roundtable, bridging aspects of her work and CF. Through this, she is able to provide a scientific voice and encourage empowerment to the CF community through occasionally writing about her research experiences as well as introspectively writing about the increasing hardship yet countless triumphs that come along with living a life with a chronic disease that significantly affects her day to day life. She currently has less than 25% lung function and is in the process of being listed for a double lung transplant at Duke University.

She enjoys cooking, drawing, spending time with friends, and traveling as much as she can.

Follow her life experiences on Instagram @thisgirlella and check out her column on CF News Today, “This Lung Life.” 

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