Famed cystic fibrosis activist dies at 21

Famed cystic fibrosis activist dies at 21

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Claire Wineland in a post on her Instagram account Image copyright Claire Wineland/Instagram
Image caption Claire Wineland became renowned for her posts about illness and mortality on social media

A young US woman with cystic fibrosis who made a name for herself through writing, speaking and social media has died after receiving a lung transplant.

Claire Wineland, 21, became renowned for her posts about illness and mortality on social media.

Ms Wineland underwent a successful double lung transplant on 26 August, but suffered a stroke shortly afterwards.

Her foundation said she had died peacefully, surrounded by family.

In a post on its Facebook page, the Claire’s Place Foundation said: “Our inspirational founder passed away. She was not in any pain and the medical staff said it was the most peaceful passing they had ever witnessed.”

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Ms Wineland rose to fame through her use of social media and speeches to convey a positive yet realistic message around issues such as her illness and her mortality.

At a 2017 TEDx talk, Ms Wineland spoke about the importance of self-worth when living with a life-shortening illness.

“Life isn’t just about being happy… It’s about what you’re making of your life and whether you can find a deep pride in who you are and what you’ve given,” she said.

Ms Wineland was a supporter of radical Senator Bernie Sanders, and she once fled hospital to attend one of his rallies.

The 2016 Democratic presidential candidate paid tribute to her in a post on Twitter.

In her last post on social media before her transplant, Ms Wineland spoke about the importance of organ donation for those with cystic fibrosis.

“I’m grateful for the doctors that’ll be scooping out these lungs and giving me some more life to work with. I’m grateful for the chance to keep being a person,” she said.

Her organs were made available for transplant.

“Her 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 Melissa Yeager told CNN.

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic lung disease with no known cure. The progressive disease creates too much mucus, trapping infections in the body and blocking the airways in the lungs.

The US-based Cystic Fibrosis Foundation says more than 70,000 people live with the condition worldwide with a median average age of 40.

Claire Wineland rose to fame after a series of Tedx talks about living with cystic fibrosis.

She started a YouTube channel in which she spoke about her experiences which attracted more than 250,000 subscribers.

However, her illness forced her to leave the platform in 2017.

Despite this, she maintained a popular following on Twitter and Instagram, speaking frankly about her life and sharing personal moments.

She also addressed her views on society’s notion of attractiveness in disabled people and sought to break these taboos.

“I’ve struggled more with guys, depression drugs, family and career than I ever have with my illness. I’m not an innocent and I’m not a child,” she wrote in March.

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