Marissa Benchea

Patient Advocate
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Marissa Benchea is a patient advocate living with Cystic Fibrosis, a progressive, genetic disease that causes a buildup of mucus in the lungs, pancreas and other organs. After ten years developing training programs for nonprofits, small businesses and entrepreneurs, Marissa transitioned to finding a cure for CF and becoming a patient advocate. Marissa was a founding member and serves on the CF Foundation’s Adult Advisory Council and the Patient Engagement Advisory Committee. She serves on the Middle Tennessee Chapter Board and is a patient advocate for Dartmouth Institute and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Most recently, Marissa co-chaired BreatheCon, a first of its kind two-day virtual event for and by adults with CF. BreatheCon connected nearly 200 people with CF from all over the country to connect, learn, share and inspire. In 2014, Marissa received the Alex Award, given annually by the late Frank Deford, recognizing someone with CF who is an inspiration to others.

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Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.