Adversity: Cystic Fibrosis
Advocacy: Provides support through speaking, writing, social media and her nonprofit to help those affected by Cystic Fibrosis
“For me, patient advocacy is the difference between feeling like a victim in your own life or feeling empowered by it. All it takes to win back your power in a situation is to stare down your problem and learn all there is to learn from it, and then share that experience with those around you. By doing so you lessen your own burden and take back your power along the way.”
Living with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) since birth, Claire Wineland knows what it’s like to be sick. She has spent a quarter of her life in the hospital, does up to four hours of breathing treatments a day and has undergone dozens of surgeries. She has 40 percent ideal lung function and knows her life span will be limited. Claire doesn’t sugar coat her chronic illness, offering to one Twitter follower: “I have my bad days believe me. :)”
After a hospital stay at the age of 13, where Claire was put into a medically induced coma and spent two weeks on a ventilator, she founded Claire’s Place Foundation, a nonprofit that raises awareness and provides emotional and financial support to children and families affected by CF. Claire also shares her story with the world through her vlog, The Clairity Project, a YouTube Channel, Twitter, as a public speaker, writer and as a television and radio guest. She demonstrates what is possible living with CF all with an infectious laugh, smile, candidness and enthusiasm.