Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Author: Claire Wineland with Chynna Bracha Levin
Publisher: BusinessGhost Books
“Anything in life is what you make of it, so no matter what comes your way, cherish it and make something amazing from it,” young Claire Wineland writes in her biography, Every Breath I Take – Surviving and Thriving with Cystic Fibrosis.
This seventy-four page paperback book has a photograph of the smiling, vivacious and youthful author with a nasal cannula on the front cover. The book is about the realities, physical discomforts and roller coaster emotions of the congenital disease, Cystic Fibrosis, written from a teenage girl’s perspective. It is ideal for the young patient or parents with children who have the debilitating disease or any family or friend who knows or wants to learn more about it. At the end of the book, there is information about the author’s Claire’s Place Foundation, Inc., which has an outreach program that includes travel and hospital funding assistance along with other websites of interest.
Claire is a bright, exceptional and amazing girl. With a progressive illness that controls you from the day you are born, Claire has accepted that it is her gift in life and her life is a gift. With a consistently upbeat outlook, she has the type of CF that affects her lungs and gastro-intestinal system that causes infections from mucus build-up. Due to the disease, she cannot be with other volatile CFers, causing common isolation, depression and loneliness.
Through many surgeries and life threatening situations, Claire was put to the ultimate challenge when she was thirteen years old and had complications from an operation, causing a two week coma with a one percent survival rate. After four months in the hospital with constant oxygen, she had to be retaught simple physical tasks such as walking. Emotionally and spiritually, she has to work at being happy and not frustrated at people’s reactions or her health-related relapses.
With such resolve and determination, two years later she not only is accepting her illness face on, but is proactive in running her own foundation to raise money for those with the chronic illness. By producing a “flash mob” to raise awareness, traveling and speaking at schools and blogging or socializing on Facebook, the fifteen year old tries to maintain a “normal” teenage status.
Although there is no cure of Cystic Fibrosis, the advance in medicine allows some with the disease to live into their fifties. With Claire’s positive outlook, mature-beyond-her-age thinking and the ability to help others, God is showing her that He has a special purpose in her life.
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