Claire Wineland, YouTube Star and Activist, Dead at 21

Claire Wineland, the YouTube star who inspired countless people with her story about living with cystic fibrosis, died on Sunday, September 2. She was 21.

The Claire’s Place Foundation said in a statement posted on its Facebook page on Monday, September 3, that Wineland “was not in any pain” when she passed away “after a week of intensive care and various life-saving procedures.” She had suffered a massive stroke caused by a blood clot on August 26 after undergoing a double lung transplant.

“The medical staff said it was the most peaceful passing they had ever witnessed,” the statement read. “She was surrounded by love and with her mother, Melissa Yeager, and father, John Wineland. They saw her into this world for her first breath and were with her for her last.”

The foundation said that the internet personality’s family and close friends were able to say their final goodbyes before her death.

“We know Claire was loved all over the world. Your prayers, support and encouraging words have been a huge source of strength for her and her family. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your massive, amazing outpouring of love,” the statement continued. “We are asking to please give the family privacy at this time. They have so generously shared their lovely Claire’s remarkable journey with us all, but now is the time to give them some peace from the public spotlight. They will emerge eventually, but please give them the time to come to terms with their family member’s passing.”

Wineland, who was born with the inherited disease, was placed in a medically-induced coma at the age of 13 after her lungs failed. She defied the odds when she awoke 16 days later. Later that year, she founded Claire’s Place. She famously documented her journey in a series of vlogs and her memoir, Every Breath I Take: Surviving and Thriving With Cystic Fibrosis.

In lieu of flowers, Wineland’s family is asking for donations to be made to the Claire’s Place Foundation, which raises funds and awareness for others living with cystic fibrosis.

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