Healthy Living

Sophomore at Staunton River Combats Her Cystic Fibrosis Through Her Love of Sports

Reaching new heights

Ball has had some great successes, not only in athletics. She recently reached 5'0" — a major feat for those with cystic fibrosis.

She explained, “I just got to 5’0”.” “Every time my brother and I go to the doctor, it’s always a competition to see who gained the most weight or grew the most.”

However, the doctor's office definitely isn't the only place where Ball shows off her competitive side. She plays varsity volleyball and JV basketball and softball, despite her occasional struggles due to cystic fibrosis.

What pushes her through? Ball sees athletics as a form of treatment, just like any of her other medicines or doctor's appointments.

She explains, “My doctors are always encouraging me to play sports because it helps with clearing my lungs. I mean, it definitely gets me out of breath more, but for me, that’s more of a reason to keep fighting. I love playing sports, so I’m always going to do that.”

She's also turned her love for sports into a way to help others with her condition. Every May, which is the month dedicated to cystic fibrosis awareness, her softball team sponsors a tournament in which all the proceeds are donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

This support from her team and others is a driving force for Ball; she explains, “It means so much to me because every little bit counts. If you hand me a penny right now and say, ‘Here, take it for CF,’ that’d be more than enough.” She thinks spreading awareness and giving back is of the utmost importance.

However, what is Ball's lasting message? She says, “I want other people to know, don’t let anything hold you back. If anything, push harder. Stay strong. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. And keep eating!”