Grew Up... in and out of hospitals. Stella has a genetic disorder called cystic fibrosis, which affects her lungs and requires regular medical attention. As Stella explains, “All CFers know how to administer their own treatments. We’re practically doctors by the time we’re twelve.”
Living... back in the hospital. It’s basically Stella’s dorm room these days. Not only does she know all of the nurses and doctors, some of her best friends are the other teenage CF patients who live on her floor. Stella’s currently following her treatment plan while awaiting a lung transplant.
Profession... high school student and YouTuber. Stella uses her YouTube channel to document her life with CF in order to help educate other people.
Interests... making lists, watching the babies in the hospital’s nursery wing, and hanging out with her best friend Poe, another teenage CF patient on her floor.
Relationship Status... flirtatious. The new CFer on Stella’s floor is a lackadaisical artist rebel named Will Newman. Stella and Will couldn’t be more different—in fact, the thing that first brings them together is the fact that Will is too lazy to even manage his own treatment plans. Stella decides they should do their treatments together, but soon their friendship blossoms into something more.
Challenge… getting close to Will while also keeping her distance. Because people with cystic fibrosis are at such a high risk of cross-infection, CFers are required to stay at least six feet apart from one another. That’s especially true for Will, who has a particularly dangerous bacterial infection. Though they might not be able to even hold hands, Stella is determined to make their relationship work—even if it’s through something as simple as reclaiming one foot of space.
Personality... organized, anal-retentive, and optimistic. Stella has clinical OCD and she feels stressed when things aren’t orderly and planned. Keeping her world carefully ordered is a way for Stella to reclaim a sense of control despite having a medical condition that’s frequently out of her control. Stella’s faced a lot of adversity in her life, not just with CF, but with her family as well. Nevertheless, despite her anxieties and challenges, she chooses to remain fiercely optimistic about the future.
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