Eillis is a 23 year old artist from Minneapolis, MN whose talents include spoken word, visual art, writing, and theater. Ellis has published zines and is also working on a novel. When Ellis isn’t creating art, they enjoy reading, collecting old photographs, watching bad reality T.V. and spending time with their partner, Max, and dog, Tuck.
Unfortunately many of Ellis’ favorite activities like rollerblading and swimming with siblings are no longer possible due to Cystic Fibrosis (CF). CF damages organs like lungs and the digestive system by creating a thick layer of mucus that causes chronic infections.
Ellis has been in and out of the hospital almost every month for the last three years due to CF. They live with an oxygen tank by their side and take many medications to keep them going. Despite the best efforts of doctors and antibiotic treatments, Ellis’ lungs have had irreversible damage. There is only one option left: a double lung transplant.
“Transplant wasn’t an easy choice. It was something I thought about for a long time. Ultimately any risk was worth it if it meant I would get my life back which feels like it’s been lost to my disease the last two years.”
However, Ellis’ surgery is considered high risk so not many hospitals are willing to perform it. Ellis has to travel to North Carolina and get more testing done at a hospital that is willing to do the surgery before they can be listed for a lung transplant.
More than anything else, Ellis wants a normal life again. A life where they get to continue creating art and spending quality time with loved ones. A life with less pain and more joy. Ellis does have hope and big goals for the future like going back to school and playing kickball with their siblings. In the meantime, Ellis continues to fight and spend as much time with loved ones as possible.
“The best thing that’s come out of all of this is I really live like nothing is certain because it really isn’t. I spend time with people I love, I do things that bring me joy, I let myself rest when I need to.”
Ellis advises others who are suffering from similar health issues to never be afraid of being vulnerable and asking for help. They also advise going to therapy to help cope with the mental and emotional weight of living with a disease like CF.
Please help Ellis raise funds to move to North Carolina and pay for medical tests so they can be listed as a lung transplant patient and get a chance at a normal life.