YouTube star and activist Claire Wineland died on Sept. 2 after a long battle with Cystic fibrosis. She was just 21 years old. Here’s what you should know about the incredible woman who inspired millions.
Claire Wineland will never be forgotten. The 21-year-old died on Sept. 2, and the news of her sudden death has shocked the world. Over the course of her life, she gave hope to millions of people with her inspirational talks, videos, and the creation of her foundation, Claire’s Place Foundation.
1. Claire died just one week after receiving a lung transplant. Claire had suffered a massive stroke on Aug. 26 after her 9-hour double lung transplant surgery. The stroke was caused by a blood clot. Her family decided to take her off life support after a week of intensive care and various procedures. She died Sept. 2. “She [Claire] was not in any pain and the medical staff said it was the most peaceful passing they had ever witnessed,” Claire’s foundation, Claire’s Place, confirmed via Facebook on Sept. 3. “Her mother Melissa Yeager and father John Wineland saw her into this world for her first breath and were with her for her last.”
2. She suffered from Cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis is a “progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time,” according to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. 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. She didn’t let the disease stop her from inspiring everyone around her.
3. She was able to save lives even after her death. Claire’s right kidney was transplanted to a 44-year-old woman in San Diego, and her left kidney was transplanted to a 55-year-old male in Northern California, her mother told CNN. Her mom also said that Claire’s “corneas and tissue was recovered and she will be able to enhance the life of up to 50 people.”
4. Celebs and fans are mourning her death. Jane the Virgin star Justin Baldoni, 34, wrote a heartfelt message on Instagram and revealed he went to visit Claire one last time before her death. “I was devastated. But when we got to the ICU in San Diego I witnessed what I can only describe as one of the purest demonstrations of love I had ever seen. I saw pain yes, but I also saw joy. I saw support, love, laughter, and a group of people brought together by a young woman who had the keys to the secrets of the universe. It was exactly as I can imagine Claire wanting it.” Bernie Sanders, 76, also tweeted: “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.”
5. In one of her last videos, she told her fans to “go enjoy” life. During the emotional video, she said: “Go enjoy your life. Really. I mean that seriously. Go enjoy it, ’cause there are people fighting like hell for it.” Rest in peace, Claire. You will be so missed.