Claire Wineland, the inspirational activist has died at the age of 21. This young US woman with cystic fibrosis, who made a name for herself through writing, speaking and social media, has died after receiving a lung transplant.
She founded Claire’s Place Foundation whose aim is to provide emotional and financial support to families living with cystic fibrosis. Its mission and values hold true for many of the diseases that affect society. Her Foundation’s core tenets regarding ‘Mission’ were:
To provide heart felt help to children and young adults diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, as well as their families, for the purpose of improving the quality of life. They hope to accomplish this by heightening awareness and providing education, skills, financial and emotional support.
She became well known for her posts about illness and mortality on social media. Her Foundation has said that, “Our inspirational founder passed away. She was not in any pain and the ‘medical staff’ said it was the most peaceful passing away they had ever witnessed.”
She had repeatedly spoken about the importance of self-worth when living with a life-shortening illness. She had stated, “Life isn’t just about being happy .. It’s about what you’re making of life and whether you can find a deep pride in who you are and what you’ve given.”
Democratic Senator, Bernie Saunders
Claire was a supporter of Bernie Saunders, and once fled hospital to attend one of his rallies. The 2016 Democratic presidential candidate paid tribute to her in a post on twitter:
“I would like to acknowledge Claire Wineland who passed away last night. You are an inspiration and brought joy to many. You’ll be missed deeply.”
In her last post on social media before her transplant she spoke about the need of organ donation for those with cystic fibrosis. Stating, “I’m grateful for the doctors that’ll be scooping out these lungs and giving me some more life to work with. I’m grateful for the chance to keep being a person.”