Claire Wineland

Kayla smith, contributer

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Claire Wineland was an activist who influenced millions over social media and will be remembered for her inspirational talks and help she gave out to others with Cystic Fibrosis through her program, “Claire’s Place Foundation”. Claire was born April 10, 1997 in Austin, Texas with Cystic Fibrosis. Cystic Fibrosis is, a genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time. It affects the cells that produce mucus, sweat, and digestive juices, and causes them to become a thick and juicy substance which leads to blocking passageways and clogging tubes in the body.

Because of this disease, Claire continuously attended doctor appointments, special treatments and other health related events to help her push through her life day by day. At the age of 13, she was put into a 16-day medically induced coma. As soon as she woke up she realized how valuable her life is and how much she could do with it in the time she had. She began recording her thoughts and steps through her difficult journey of surviving this disease by writing a book called, ‘Every Breath I Take’.  Throughout time people began to read her book and watch her YouTube videos. By the time she was about 14, she became extremely known to the public eye as a YouTube star, an author, an activist, a motivational speaker, but most importantly she was known as a survivor.

In 2017 Claire gave a ‘TED’ talk and said, “Life isn’t just about being happy, it’s about what you’re making of your life and whether you can find a deep pride in who you are and what you’ve been given.” That quote is one of her most famous quotes, and really shows people who she was and how she looked at situations. Her family told CNN that when she was younger she always had the biggest smile on her face. Whenever she’d stay at the hospital for long periods of time, Claire would play hide-and-seek with the doctors and would always create an explosion of glitter.

Claire had always heard the idea pop up of getting a lung transplant, but never wanted to get one. It wasn’t until the end of 2016 she had a change of heart. The doctors put her on the list and said she would have to wait at least a year, which was good because it gave her time to workout and build up the strength her body needed to recover from the transplant.

Her mother told CNN that Claire would always crack jokes and tell the doctor that from doing the squats he told her to do, she would not only get a new pair of lungs but also a butt.

When the time came around, she finally had her lung transplant. It was a 9-hour surgery but was very successful, and her new lungs were working great. Claire was having the time of her life doing things she couldn’t do before. She posted a video on her YouTube channel showing her fans how well she was doing but, that happiness soon turned to fear.

Claire had a stroke when a blood clot cut off blood flow to the right side of her brain. She was immediately put into a medically endued coma but never woke up. Claire Wineland passed away Sunday, September 2, 2018.

Claire really understood the importance of organ donation and became and organ donor herself. On Monday afternoon her mother received news that after Claire’s death, she saved two lives. Her right kidney was donated to a 44-year old woman in San Diego, California and her right kidney was donated to a 55-year old man in Northern California.

Claire has influenced so many by her story and will continue to do so.

Sources:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/03/health/claire-wineland-obit/index.html

https://mashable.com/article/claire-wineland-died-youtube-cystic-fibrosis-activist/#52GaqeDzJiqz

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-45405637

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Claire Wineland