“I can’t help but feel that cystic fibrosis gave me the gift of passion – passion for life and all it holds, its ups and downs, struggles and opportunities,” explains Claire.
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) September 16, 2014
Claire Wineland, age 17, of Redondo Beach, California, has been named a national winner of the 2014 Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes. Each year, the Barron Prize celebrates twenty-five inspiring, public-spirited young people from all across America who have made a significant positive difference to people and our planet. The top fifteen winners each receive a $5,000 cash award to support their service work or higher education.
Claire created Claire’s Place Foundation to provide emotional and financial support to families whose children have cystic fibrosis (CF). In three years, she has raised over $150,000. Claire, who lives with CF, began her work following a life-threatening experience in the hospital at age 13, when an infection following a minor surgery spread throughout her body, sending her into complete lung failure. She was placed in the intensive care unit in a medically induced coma for several weeks and given a 1% chance of surviving. She defied all the odds and after regaining her strength months later, decided to help other families living with CF. She credits her recovery to the love and support she received and wanted to offer the same to others.
Her first goal was to set up an Extended Hospital Stay Fund to help families pay bills and reduce financial worries while caring for their children during lengthy hospitalizations. She also created CF University, a website of text and video resources to help newly diagnosed families understand the world of CF and to give longtime CFers the latest information and hope. The website offers detailed, child- and teen-friendly information on terminology and medical procedures, and on living life with cystic fibrosis to the fullest, not just struggling along until there is a cure. Claire is also working to create a Support Families program that will connect newly diagnosed or isolated families with a more experienced support family. “I can’t help but feel that cystic fibrosis gave me the gift of passion – passion for life and all it holds, its ups and downs, struggles and opportunities,” explains Claire. “And I can’t imagine a better way to live than trying to share some of that passion and help others going through the same thing.”
The Barron Prize was founded in 2001 by author T.A. Barron and was named for his mother, Gloria Barron. Each year’s twenty-five Barron Prize honorees are as diverse as their service projects. They are female and male, urban and rural, and from many races and backgrounds. Half of the honorees have focused on helping their communities and fellow human beings; half have focused on protecting the environment.
“Nothing is more inspiring than stories about heroic people who have truly made a difference to the world,” says Barron. “And we need our heroes today more than ever. Not celebrities, but heroes – people whose character can inspire us all. That is the purpose of the Gloria Barron Prize: to shine the spotlight on these amazing young people so that their stories will inspire others.”
The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes is in association with National Geographic Education Foundation; Girl Scouts of the USA; Earth Force; the Jane Goodall Institute; Youth Service America; and Student Conservation Association. For more information on the Barron Prize, visit http://www.barronprize.org.
About Claire’s Place Foundation, Inc.
Claire’s Place Foundation, Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit organization providing support to children and families affected by cystic fibrosis (CF). Claire’s Place Foundation is named in honor of Claire Wineland, now a teenager, who has been living with CF her entire life. Named Small Nonprofit Organization of the Year by the Los Angeles Business Journal, the foundation provides grants to families affected by CF, offering both emotional and financial support. A young author of bestseller “Every Breath I Take, Surviving and Thriving with Cystic Fibrosis,” Claire’s unique inspirational model for people living with this disease has led her to be a TEDx Speaker and receive multiple awards including Southbay Magazine’s “Top 10 South Bay Teen”, Looking Beyond LA’s “Soaring Spirit Award,” and a nominee of Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Nonprofit and Corporate Citizenship” awards. She has been featured in Ladies’ Home Journal and seen on the Hallmark Channel and ABC’s “Everyday Health.” Claire’s Place Foundation is a way for Claire to give back with hope, strength, and joy and make meaning of what she has had to go through. For more information and make a donation, please visit http://www.clairesplacefoundation.org.