This terminally ill girl shares a powerful message that may change your view of death, and life, forever.
20-year-old Claire Wineland has been inspiring people throughout her teens
Claire Wineland is an activist, entrepreneur, YouTube personality and author. Through her non-profit organisation, Claire’s Place Foundation and The Clairity Project, she works to support and organise people with terminal and chronic illness and their families. She is also the author of the book Every Breath I Take, Surviving and Thriving with Cystic Fibrosis and a TEDx speaker.
Claire Wineland is a regular young girl — except for one major difference
Claire is a 20-year-old from Venice Beach, California. She lives with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that causes excess mucous secretions and collection, particularly in the lungs. Claire has undergone dozens of surgeries, one of which caused her to become septic and led to lung failure on April 13, 2010. Claire was put on an oscillator vent and entered into a medically induced coma, from which she woke up after more than two weeks. "Claire came through this harrowing event inspired, passionate, and very excited about making a difference for other children and teens by sharing her experience, strength and hope with them," her non-profit’s website says.
That aforementioned non-profit is Claire’s Place Foundation, which Claire founded when she was just 13 years old, according to her bio on the organisation’s website. It provides emotional and financial support to children and families affected by cystic fibrosis. Due to her work with the foundation, Claire has been honoured by The Los Angeles Business Journal’s Nonprofit & Corporate Citizenship Awards, and she received the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes, both in 2014.
Another way Claire inspires and helps others is through her website, The Clairity Project, where she opens up about her life with cystic fibrosis through videos, photos, and writing. Claire has gained a lot of media attention for her YouTube channel, in particular, which features videos where she talks about everything from what it’s like to be in a coma (clip below) to why being in the hospital doesn’t always suck to how she’s preparing for death.
Claire imbues her clips with so much charisma and earnestness, they come across more like an amusing vlog series than educational videos, even though you’ll totally come away from them feeling enlightened.
The Clairity Project: follow Claire's journey
"I’m here to shed some light on what it’s really like to be sick, and hopefully to change the way we view illness and those living with it. I don’t think that life is black and white, we can’t see everything that’s abnormal and strange as being bad. My life expectancy isn’t necessarily impressive( if ya know what i mean). Yet I have had a wonderful life; I have lived a life I’m proud of. A life I am excited to share with you through The Clairity Project. Welcome."