Presenter: Katie Malik
Katie is an opera singer, choreographer, voice actor, and freelance writer based in Seattle. Katie's travels have taken her around the country and the globe, on solo tours in Europe and Asia, and on multiple trips to Sweden -- where her inspirational story captured the country's heart on the top-rated, International Emmy-winning TV series, Allt för Sverige. She is also a registered yoga teacher and creator of a “Yoga for Cystic Fibrosis” video series for Pactster.com in collaboration with the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. Most recently Katie was awarded a CFF Impact Grant to create CF Yogi, a new program that will offer free, livestreamed yoga classes for the CF communityKatie holds a BA in vocal performance and music theory from Seattle Pacific University, where she received the Philip J. Mack music scholarship and graduated magna cum laude. You can connect with Katie on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, or visit her website, katiemalik.com.
Balancing a Full-Time Career
Presenter: Wendy Caroline
Wendy is a young adult with CF who is finding her way in the world. She is a passionate writer and advocate for CF awareness, and is currently training her service dog, Finn, for when she needs a little extra support throughout the day. In her free time, Wendy enjoys music, traveling, and reading, and credits her CF for giving her more drive to love life and all it has to offer. Follow Wendy on her blog, The Living, Breathing Wendy
All About the Transplant Games of America
Presenter: Brad Dell
Brad lives in Santa Cruz, California as a freelance writer and editor. He graduated from the University of Hawaii with degrees in history and journalism. When not writing small business profiles and cystic fibrosis awareness pieces, Brad is serving as president of the Northern California Chapter of The Lung Transplant Foundation. He's also hiking, rock climbing, and traveling to celebrate his 2017 lung transplant. Follow Brad at his blog, Adamantium Joy, or on his Facebook page.
Presenter: Lara Govendo
Lara resides in Vermont (for now) as a wild, adventure enthusiast while holding a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling. She writes about living out loud and develops educational programs to restore hope to those in need all over the country. After her double-lung transplant in August 2017, you can find Lara checking items off her life list: traveling solo on the regular, exploring national parks, and belly laughing with her loves. Passionate about connecting with like-minded people, you can join her at her blog: www.laragovendo.com. You can also find her on her Facebook page and on Instagram @lungs4lovey where she flies by the seat of her (no) pants.
Travel Tips & Tricks
Presenter: Ella Balasa
Diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at 18 months old, Ella graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in biology and now works part-time as a manager in a microbiology lab, working with some CF microbes in the environmental setting. Ella is involved in the CF community as a director of the United States Adult CF Association, an ambassador at her local VA CF chapter, and on the Patient advisory council at her CF clinic. She strives to help educate and support others facing the same challenges with CF. She enjoys cooking, drawing, writing her blog on CF News Today, spending time with friends, and traveling as much as she can. Follow her travel and life experiences on her Instagram @thisgirlella.
Keeping Connected to the Community
Presenter: Jen Eisenmann
Jen Eisenmann is 47 years old and will be 2 years post double lung transplant in December. She is a former director of the US Adult CF Association and a current board member of the Lung Transplant Foundation as well as the president of their North Carolina chapter. She also fundraises for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation with Great Strides and admins a Facebook group for people with CF who have had a lung transplant. When she is not volunteering, she enjoys Zumba dance classes, going to live concerts and binge watching engaging tv series. She lives with her husband, Pete, and their crazy dog Tarly.
Keeping up with and Understanding CF Research
Presenter: James Lawlor
James lives in Huntsville, Alabama and works full-time as a Computational Biologist at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. Diagnosed at 18 months, he has long been interested in science and has always enjoyed learning more about how CF and CF treatments work. James graduated from the University of Alabama in Huntsville with bachelors degrees in biochemistry and mathematics and a masters degree in modeling and simulation. His day job focuses on supporting a team using whole genome sequencing to diagnose pediatric rare diseases, but he occasionally dabbles in CF-related genomics research. James has recently become involved with a great community of CF adults and enjoys working with the CFF Adult Advisory Council and ResearchCon planning groups. In his spare time, James enjoys performing with local chamber choirs, playing long-running D&D games with his friends, and catering to his dog's need for continuous snuggles.
Returning to Work After Disability
Presenter: Piper Beatty
Piper was first diagnosed with CF at 6 weeks old in 1981, and has since been the survivor of two double-lung transplants. Piper attended Emory University, received her J.D. from Columbia University Law School and then went on to earn her master's in public administration from New York University's Wagner School of Public Service. She currently works for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in the Community Partnerships Department and lives in Denver with her husband and puppy.