Meet VALLEY’s Fall 2020 Beauty and Health Section Opener: Ava Brett

Photo by Cassie Luzenski

From an early age, Ava Brett often found that she was fascinated by the reporters on E! News and the on-air talent they had on the show. Ava Brett, a Penn State junior majoring in broadcast journalism says, “I knew then that I wanted to do something involving entertainment news immediately.”

Brett chose to attend Penn State because of the friendly and energetic environment, but it also has provided her leadership opportunities. For example, Brett currently serves as president of her sorority, Kappa Delta, and also covers current events on campus as a field reporter for PSN News.

Despite these impressive achievements, it has not always been easy. Brett suffers from a genetic condition known as Cystic Fibrosis (CF). According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, CF can cause serious problems with the lungs and can also make it hard to absorb the nutrients from food.

“Unlike many less fortunate cases, I have been blessed with relatively normal respiratory capabilities since birth,” says Brett. “I do have digestion issues and so I regularly use artificial enzymes to assist in digestion and combating debilitating stomach aches that I suffered with early in life.”

In light of her disease, Brett has managed to live a full life; however, she remains conscious of those who are, “faced daily with symptoms of the disease that are far more difficult than the ones I typically experience,” says Brett. “My diagnosis, and the knowledge of their fight, is a constant reminder that life is precious and that every moment must be lived with no regrets.”

Following graduation, Brett hopes to receive a job at a major news network and eventually work up to becoming a lead anchor. Her role models include news hosts like Morgan Stewart, Savannah Guthrie, Giuliana Rancic.

CF has not stood in the way of Brett in pursuing her goals. In fact, it has pushed her to do things she wouldn’t have done otherwise. “I choose not to dwell in the past, live in the present, and appreciate every valuable moment amongst the people I love and doing the things that I love,” says Brett.

She has found friends, both at home and at Penn State that have been extremely understanding of her disease and its occasional limitations. “I would like people to know that there is more to a person than their disease,” says Brett. “I appreciate the life I’ve been given and all the close friends I have that do not think of me simply in terms of my diagnosis.”


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