Claire Wineland, 21, became renowned for her posts about illness and mortality on social media. After defying multiple life-expectancies of 10-, 15-, and 18-years-old, Wineland initially decided not to seek out a lung transplant after becoming a legal adult, an operation that can significantly prolong the life of someone with CF.
"Death is Inevitable. Living a life we can be proud of is something we can control", the California native once said. "It's not like we walk around like dogs with our tails in between our legs all the time".
Words of love and gratitude have filled social media since Wineland's passing, and those she has helped and encouraged will not soon forget her. That year, she also gave a TEDx speech about her illness.
The gift of life: Recipient of an organ donation herself, her organs were donated after her death. Claire created her own foundation, Claire's Place, which heightens "public awareness about Cystic Fibrosis and improve the quality of life for the families it affects by providing education, life skills, inspiration, and positive support, when she was just 13 years old".
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In addition to activism about cystic fibrosis specifically, she also hoped to reduce the societal stigma's around disability and attractiveness.
Through her videos and social media posts, Wineland tried to break down stereotypes about sick or disabled people, telling her followers in March that she'd "struggled more with guys, depression drugs, family and career than I ever have with my illness", adding, "I'm not an innocent and I'm not a child". When she was 12 I tutored her...often times at the hospital. For me, at least, the point of sharing everything I'm going through isn't to make you all feel as if your lives are not as equally insane as mine is.
But earlier this year, she had a change of heart, and finally was put on the transplant list in May. "I didn't realize how much I didn't expect to live this long", she said.
"Claire is unable to do the work that she loves, which is traveling the world to share her message with thousands of people". Really. I mean that seriously. "Claire's remarkable family were so happy for the other families that were now getting the calls that the organ they had always been waiting for was now available for transplant".
Although her parents Melissa Nordquist Yeager and John Wineland were separated when Claire was three years old, they remained friends and partners in her care. They had been on the receiving end of that call just one short week ago.