Why People Love Youtuber The Clairity Project (Claire Wineland)
A Young Woman Dying of Cystic Fibrosis
The most terrifying thing in the world for most of us is the fact that we are going to die someday. Even though we all know it's true, we usually ignore it, especially if we're healthy. We figure our death is a long time from now, so we don't think about it.
Claire Wineland, on the other hand, was diagnosed with a deadly disease from pretty much the moment she was born. She has cystic fibrosis. I know very little about the disease, but I know enough to know a diagnosis is a death sentence. It kills people fairly young, most of the time. When I was in high school, a girl I had classes with had cystic fibrosis and she died at sixteen years old. We had an assembly about her life afterwards and counselors were available to help people cope with it. We mourned for a teenage life cut short at my school.
What Is Cystic Fibrosis?
Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disease with no cure. I know it has to do with the body creating excessive mucous, which sounds harmless until you learn that people with cystic fibrosis have trouble breathing and struggle to keep all their organs from shutting down.
Wikipedia defines it as this:
"Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disorder that affects mostly the lungs, but also the pancreas, liver, kidneys, and intestine. Long-term issues include difficulty breathing and coughing up mucus as a result of frequent lung infections. Other signs and symptoms include sinus infections, poor growth, fatty stool, clubbing of the fingers and toes, and infertility in males, among others. Different people may have different degrees of symptoms.'
Tragedy Turned to Joy
You'd think such a diagnosis would make Claire Wineland angry at the world or depressed. She's very young and having to deal with a lot. I'm sure she feels those negative feelings sometimes, but if you watch her videos, she's one of the happiest people in the world. So happy that it's infectious.
She's excited about life, she's vibrant, and young. She'd be fun to watch even if she wasn't sick.
But the fact that she is and still has a positive attitude makes her extra special.
Here are a few of the reasons why people love Claire Wineland and why she should have millions of followers on youtube.
1. She's an Inspiration
Death isn't a far off possibility for her. She's already lived longer than doctors expected that she would and she could die any time, but she doesn't let it control her life or her happiness.
She's come to peace with something that people over three times her age often can not accept. She's enlightened.
It's really hard when someone is sick a lot for them to get out of bed often. Just doing that much is an accomplishment with her disease. The fact that she deals with her disease and also tries to educate people about her illness and help people cope with difficult things is amazing.
She is not wasting any of the short amount of time she was given on earth. She's making a difference every day in people's lives and hearts.
If that's not inspirational, I don't know what is.
2. She's So Positive
She can put a positive spin on anything. Instead of making videos on how her disease is ruining her life, a lot of her videos are about how her disease is actually a positive thing. She's accepted it and even uses it to her advantage when she can.
3. She Has Fascinating Life Stories and Experiences
This is the video that hooked me to her channel. I didn't know she had cystic fibrosis or any other problem, I just saw that there was a video about what it feels like to be in a coma and I got curious.
The end result was that I couldn't stop watching her videos and wanting to learn more about this young woman's life. She's been through a lot and knows a lot because of it. There are not a lot of teenagers that I think could write great memoirs. She is the exception.
4. She's Hilarious
Her and her family are hilarious. I laughed so hard when I watched this video. They also obviously love each other very much and have helped each other cope with the hardships in life. They are a big part of why she's such an amazing woman today and you can tell it when you watch them interacting with her in her videos.
Claire is able to laugh at her disease, which is amazing because sometimes laughter is the only thing that can keep you from crying. I always think life needs more laughter and she finds a way to bring it to life while also encouraging people at the same time.
5. She's Erasing the Stigma of Illness
Our society is frightened by and uncomfortable with illness. She's right that people are often scared and unsure of how to interact with someone in a wheelchair or someone who has an oxygen tank. It's really not something any of us should feel intimidated by.
She helps get rid of that stigma by talking about her medical equipment and illness so openly. She shares her oxygen tank with people, even though this might not be the healthiest thing for her, because she wants to draw more people together. It's her life mission and she seems to be doing a great job at it so far.
6. She's Wise Beyond Her Years
Her best friend, in another video, describes her as someone who you are either laughing with hysterically or having a deep discussion with. There is no in between.
Her best friend says Claire has a unique perspective on life and I can tell this just by watching some of her videos. She makes connections that I would never put together and I am twice her age. She impresses me and makes me want to hear her opinion on a lot of the things that she hasn't yet shared with her youtube channel.
We need people like her in the world. We need people that think differently and can encourage the rest of us to see new perspectives on things. Those kinds of people are the people that challenge others and help them grow.
7. She's Real
She's happy in most of her videos because that's the kind of person that she is, but she doesn't force herself to be happy when things get dark. She's honest, open, and real about her disease. She's not in denial about anything. She knows things are going to get worse as time passes, but she faces her treatments with a good attitude and keeps fighting all the time.
She's not happy because she ignores the dark stuff, she's happy because she embraces what she can not change. She's real about how hard it can be and doesn't try to shelter other people from the reality of the fact that there are young people everywhere dying of genetic diseases like cystic fibrosis.
Being honest online about your struggles is one of the hardest things in the world, but this young woman does it anyway, knowing that people could have all different kinds of reactions to her.
That's some of the things that draws people to her. She's vulnerable and genuine.