In the Spotlight

Camila Strassle

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Camila Strassle, right, took an active role in leading the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s 2013 Teen Advocacy Day by helping to draft memos, set schedules, stuff envelopes and attend briefings on the latest health care laws. She is pictured here with her sister, Carmen, who also volunteered as a teen advocate for the Foundation.

Camila Strassle’s younger brother was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when he was an infant. Growing up, Camila struggled to face the severity of her brother’s disease, and never imagined she’d be able to help him.

That changed when Camila came to the CF Foundation’s website and found the Teen Advocacy Program. For the last four years, Camila has attended the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Teen Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C.

As a teen advocate, Camila speaks with members of Congress about what they can do to help families affected by cystic fibrosis.

“I finally realized that if I’m going to be a good sister, I need to support my brother in every way possible,” she said.

Speaking Out

Since enrolling in the program, Camila has met with more than two dozen members of Congress. She even helped get legislation passed making it easier for people with rare diseases to participate in clinical trials without losing eligibility for public health care benefits.

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For the last four years, Camila Strassle has attended the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Teen Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. As a teen advocate, Camila speaks with members of Congress about what they can do to help families affected by cystic fibrosis. Camila’s younger brother was diagnosed with CF as an infant.

“Being able to see tangible results from anything you do is really empowering, and that’s one of the reasons I love Teen Advocacy Day,” Camila said. “It has been tremendously rewarding to see that our work has made a real impact.”

Preparing for the Future

Last summer, Camila took her involvement one step further when she became an intern with the Foundation’s Public Policy Department. Camila worked with three other interns to draft memos, set schedules, stuff envelopes and attend briefings on the latest health care laws.

She believes the experience prepared her for her next step in life: college. A freshman at Stanford University, Camila has declared a double major in English and Health Policy.

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Inspired by her experience as a teen advocate and intern for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Public Policy Department, Camila Strassle is working towards a double major in English and Health Policy at Stanford University. “The CF Foundation sets the standard in fighting rare diseases, so having this experience before taking health care policy classes has been invaluable,” Camila said.

“It’s been fantastic to see behind the scenes at the Foundation and to work alongside people who are working so hard to end this disease,” Camila said. “The CF Foundation sets the standard in fighting rare diseases, so having this experience before taking health care policy classes has been invaluable.”

Also invaluable is the new relationship Camila has formed with her brother. Since becoming a teen advocate, Camila said she and her brother have grown much closer.

“I’ve learned so much through this process, but my biggest take away is that advocating on behalf of people with CF has helped me better connect with my brother,” Camila said. “I think it makes him happy knowing that his family is so involved in this fight — he doesn’t feel like he’s alone.”