An Inspiration to Youtube, Claire Wineland, Dead at 21


This image was taken from Claire Wineland’s Instagram, @claire.wineland. Wineland had thousands of followers who were devastated at her passing.

Cynda Allen, Staff Writer

“You can be in pain and yet you can see beauty and that’s what makes life so incredible”

-Claire Wineland

Claire Wineland, a Youtube personality and motivational speaker, died on Sunday, Sept. 2, 2018 at 6 P.M. Claire struggled a battle with cystic fibrosis her whole life. After finally getting a double lung transplant and thinking that she could live her life without struggling to breathe, the transplant gave her a stroke. This resulted in a blood clot that slowly started to cut off blood flow to the right side of her brain. Wineland peacefully passed at the UC San Diego Thornton Pavillion. She went through a painless death and the medical staff said, “It was the most peaceful passing they had ever witnessed.”

Wineland spent one-third of her life in the hospital with a total of 30 surgeries. When she was 13-years-old, her lungs failed due to her condition and that placed her in a medically induced coma. The doctors told her parents that she had a 1 percent chance of survival and with that, 16 days later, she awoke. After that miracle, on her road to recovery, she founded the Claire’s Place Foundation. The Claire’s Place Foundation was an award-winning, non-profit organization that helped families affected by terminal illnesses. The institution financially aided 26 families in counting.

Windland started her Youtube career on Sept. 8, 2014, which since then, has skyrocketed. On the side, she was a TEDx speaker, been in a number of conferences worldwide, and even appeared in the CW series “My Last Days” and Fox’s “Red Band Society”. When she collaborated with TEDx she would speak about cystic fibrosis and how she has faced it in the past years. Wineland’s videos consisted of her either talking about the more darker subjects then adding light to them or just normal videos you would find scrolling down your feed. The more darker side of discussion involved her life expectancy, what nearly dying feels like, and body image from a sick girls point of view. The more lighter, normal side of conversation incorporated what she would tell her younger self, room tours, trips to different states/countries, and QNA’s/FAQ’s. A boost to her Youtube Channel was from YouTuber, Shane Dawson, who referenced to her in his video “WHAT DYING FEELS LIKE” that later followed her joining an episode of his podcast “Shane and Friends”. From that meetup and on, they continued being good companions

An addition to Wineland’s popularity, she wrote a book in 2012 titled, “Every Breath I Take, Surviving and Thriving with Cystic Fibrosis.” According to fans and friends, she was sweet and cheerful despite her condition. On her Youtube Channel, she would use dark humor to cope with what she was going through, and that is what drew in local North Forsyth High School ninth-grader, Kaiden Harker, into watching her. Harker stated that “She didn’t just do the ‘Daily Vlogs’ like every other Youtube-Star does. She talked about how she was dying and added humor to it as a way of venting.” Harker also described Wineland’s character by saying “She was so straight-up and no one really does that. I relate to that on a personal level and that is why I think she was such a role model to everyone. Claire never sugar-coated and wanted to get her message out there.”

Wineland has spent many years talking about her experiences with her disability and never let it define her. She fought hard, nearly dying six times and fully flatlining once. Wineland will be forever remembered for her hard work and kind soul. She shall Rest in Peace knowing her powerful impacts on others.