When Claire Wineland was born, her parents were told she wouldn’t live past the age of 10. Today, she’s 20 years old and making the most of life.
Claire has Cystic Fibrosis — a genetic disease that causes body to produce an excessive amount of mucus, which impairs one’s lungs, pancreas, and other organs — but she’s not letting her diagnosis stop her from living.
“When we’re suffering, we kind of have this notion that we kind of should stop living and we should just focus on his how to ‘get over it,’ how to just ‘get to the other side,'” she said in a video interview with PopSugar. “There’s so much more to life than just being healthy. There’s so much more to life than just being normal.”
When Claire was 13 years old, she nearly died. After spending several weeks in a coma, she decided to start a charity to help families of Cystic Fibrosis patients manage the financial challenges associated with battling the disease.
“Growing up, I didn’t have any role models that were sick that were doing anything with their life, ever,” she said. “I get to travel the world and speak and have my own apartment in Venice [California], and I get to date, and I get to laugh, and I get to go on adventures, and run my own nonprofit, and do exactly what I love doing.”
“None of that is in spite of being sick, it’s because of it,” she said.