Claire Wineland, who documented her disease online, dead at 21

At its best, social media allows us to be joined at the heart. Claire Wineland, who had cystic fibrosis, was a perfect example.

She chronicled her disease, which she’s had since birth via YouTube videos. She spent much of her life in hospitals.

“Everyone is always surprised that we go to school, too, and live normal human lives. When you’re talking to someone who has a disability or has an illness, expect that they live lives like yours,” Wineland said in one.

For all the filth that exists in the comments sections of the internet — looking at you, Pioneer Press — there is a love that exists among the intertubes.

She opted for a double-lung transplant. Her followers on social media raised the money for it.

It didn’t work; she died over the weekend after suffering a stroke, the Washington Post reports.

“For me, at least, the point of sharing everything I’m going through isn’t to make you all feel as if your lives are not as equally insane as mine is. Cause maybe on the surface they’re not, but fundamentally we’re all in the exact same boat with this,” she said.

She is an organ donor, her foundation said in announcing her death.

“Claire’s remarkable family were so happy for the other families that were now getting the calls that the organ they had long been waiting for was now available for transplant. They had been on the receiving end of that call just one short week ago,” it said in a statement.

  • Guest

    How much more lonely would lives be when able to only connect with those you already know.

  • Barton

    Hopefully such stories help increase the number of organ donors out there, even if the double lung transplant didn’t succeed this time.

  • Jack

    There was a lovely discussion about this on BBC radio today. I learned a lot from the CF survivors they interviewed.