Athlete Name: Ella Scanlan
Tell us a little about yourself
My name is Ella Scanlan. I am 25, with the double delta f508 mutation of cystic fibrosis. I am from Dublin, Ireland and was diagnosed with CF when I was one. Since that day, my family and I have lived by the ethos that where this is a will, there is a way – which is how I managed to attend and finish college with over 10 hospital admissions and countless absences. Despite that, I made it out the other side with an honors degree, traveled to Bali – with more medication than clothes in my backpack – and become a qualified personal trainer with a lung function of 1.7 L.
“Exercise has made me confident in who I am in my own skin."
Tell us what motivates you the most.
I daydream an insane amount about myself and my loved ones, so I am motivated by the fact that I never want CF to limit those dreams. I am lucky to say I have always had the upper hand with my CF, and I never want that to change.
Why do you exercise?
I joined the gym to ‘be normal’. However, weight training became an outlet. The mental strength I apply in my day to day life because of CF could be applied in the gym and made me physically stronger to fight chest infections etc. as well as mentally strong in the tougher times.
I never liked taking medication, because it is something I have ‘had to’ do, not ‘want to’ do. Exercise has proven a natural medicine I ‘want to’ to partake in. As I got fitter I depended less on medication. My lung function increased, my use of antibiotics and stomach medication decreased and my outlook on life completely changed, which I put down to the endorphins I get from exercise that cannot be captured in a capsule. Recently, I have also started yoga to help combat the nasty breathing and posture habits I have developed throughout the years.
What are your goals for the future?
Exercise has made me confident in who I am in my own skin. I am proud to say I have CF when I am at the gym squatting 80kg.
I have an Instagram page which focuses on fitness, wellness, and cystic fibrosis. You can find me at: @el.cfitness93.
My goal is to create a positive awareness, remove any stigma, and put my PT qualification to great use and be a life coach/ personal trainer specifically for those with disabilities; especially CF and diabetes because I want them to be proud of themselves and fight their illness with a positive mindset alongside a personal trainer who knows, or will do what they can to understand, the needs of the illness.
Who is your role model?
Claire Wineland: she was the first person I ever saw talk about CF with a huge smile on her face… she’s an inspiration to all young girls with cystic fibrosis.