“Our new website is a supportive forum for inspiration as well as a resource to learn about developments in CF, our programs and grant recipients,” Melissa Yeager, the foundation’s executive director, said in a press release.
CF patient Claire Wineland was just 13 when she started Claire’s Place Foundation in 2011 after recovering from routine surgery that left her in a coma for 16 days. Amazed at the outpouring of love and support she received from family, community, and a 9,000-member online group, Wineland decided to start her own charity. Her goal was to provide education, skills, and financial and emotional assistance to other CF patients and their families.
“I can’t believe it has been ten years since my daughter Claire founded Claire’s Place Foundation from her hospital bed at age 13,” Yeager said.
“Claire poured her love, passion and hope into the organization. Her impact went far beyond the CF community, teaching us all how to overcome any obstacle life throws at you,” Yeager added.
Since its inception, the foundation has grown to reach 10,000 YouTube subscribers and award more than $640,000 in grants to about 2,500 recipients.
Wineland died in September 2018 following complications from a double lung transplant. Claire’s Place Foundation has given her family, friends, and supporters a way to uphold her legacy and “make a loving difference,” the foundation says on its website.
Now, in the year it celebrates its 10th anniversary, the foundation has launched a website that shares Wineland’s story and supports some of her projects — from creating hospital playrooms for children to providing financial support to the families of CF patients.
A space on the website also allows visitors to share memories of Wineland and how she impacted their lives.
“As we carry Claire’s legacy forward, we felt it was important to create a place on our new website where people from all walks of life can share how Claire impacted or inspired them,” Yeager said.
The improved website also has incorporated new digital features, including a timeline of Wineland’s life, a portfolio of the work done by the foundation so far, and ways to get involved. Information about Claire’s Place Programs — including a COVID-19 Emergency Fund and Work Proudly — also is available. These programs provide financial assistance and support flexible employment for members of the CF community.
“I know Claire would be wowed by our new look and digital enhancements to connect the CF community and beyond,” Yeager said.
Also in honor of the anniversary — as well as to mark CF Awareness Month in May and what would have been Wineland’s 24th birthday — the foundation will be raising funds through a social media challenge throughout the month. To enter the challenge, people are invited to join @kiki5800 on Instagram, @tiktok, and share pictures and videos that illustrate them living their lives despite the challenges of CF. Participants are encouraged to use the tag #liveproudlyforclaire!
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