Meet Claire

Orchid by Rene Mensen (CC BY 2.0)

Claire WinelandSo who is Claire?
That’s an interesting question. To start off I’m 13 years old, my name is Claire, and I have an illness called Cystic Fibrosis, which I was diagnosed with at Birth. It’s interesting because for a lot of people it’s totally different, it’s like, “oh my gosh! She has a disease, take pity on her!” But it’s interesting when you have lived with something your entire life, that’s how you know life. So I don’t know, but that is the normal for me. It’s funny cause if we didn’t make a reservation at a restaurant and they want a table, when I’m with friends some will say, “Oh she has CF!” but I don’t think of myself as any different than any little kid who has been at the beach all day and needs to get home. You know like, that’s something I would love the world to know, when you live with something your entire life, it’s no different.

I love Yoga, been doing it for years. I am really into the whole ‘green living’, and I’m also into a lot of homeopathic care and sort of the all natural way of living. Something that I want to do when I grow up or anytime, study it, Anthropology, I find it really fascinating how the body works and how the world works, compared to the body. I’m really into the going all natural.

How I first met NorthStar Moving®

I recently was contacted by Make-A-Wish™. They asked me what I wanted my wish to be, I said that I’d love a room make over. I watch HGTV all the time and thought that would be so much fun! It’s funny cause, I’m not sure what show, but I’ve actually seen you guys delivering before, I heard them say NorthStar Moving® before and it never really meant anything until I figured out that NorthStar Moving® was delivering all of our furniture, and I thought that was pretty cool. So that was pretty much the first time I heard of you guys. I thought it was a cool concept to build on, to be a green moving company, because packing peanuts are like everywhere and are a huge problem.

Getting my wish granted by Make A Wish

We went to the Hyatt, really cool, the coolest part was, we didn’t know this, but when we were staying there, President Obama was there! My friends and I were lying out by the pool and we over heard people saying, “President Obama is upstairs staying in the hotel over night,” and we all looked at each other and said, “Should we all go try and find him?” That was really like a great little journey there. It really felt like I got the royal treatment.

And my room! You know, when I see other people’s rooms, like on HGTV, I can picture what it will look like, but when it was my room, I had no sense what she (Kim Myles of HGTV’ s Myles of Style) could of done, so it totally blew me away. I can usually expect what’s going to happen but not this time. So that was a cool experience. The Room is AMAZING! My little sister (Ellie) and I, you guys also included her in the character making as ‘Sparkle,’ we love to play imaginary games. One of our big things is mermaids. So to have a little mermaid room now that is perfect for imaginary play. It was awesome! All the stuff was high quality, and did you see the pillows? Awww the pillows are amazing!

Becoming Snap Greene™

First of all I thought it was such a clever name, I love that! ‘Snap Greene™’ my mom, a couple days earlier, and I were thinking you know, a lot of things have come out of this. You know I got to speak in front of city council, which I thought you know was really a cool experience, and I even got a laugh out of them. We were talking about how many neat experiences have come out of this disease and out of everything. A couple hours later my mom says,” I just got an email from the moving company that moved your room; they want you to be the face of one of their online characters.” And I was like, Ohhh that’s so cool! Because it was thinking it was such a neat company. We looked into it more and I decided sure you know. I love the fact you guys are giving me my own corner, that’s awesome. It’s funny you know cause it’s not really like a “job” job, but it’s something fun to do that came out of this whole experience, and that I can kind of help spread the message about going green and I actually feel like I have a big part in changing the world, so I said sure! Let’s do it!

As Snap Greene™ I have a bubble family! but let me tell you about my real family…

My real family is great. My parents are divorced. I have step parents that are fabulous. I have my mother and Ellie is my sister. I use to live half time with my dad and half with my mom, but since I got sick we decided to live fully with my mom, since my mom isn’t working right now she can take care of me. So my family is really great. It’s funny, cause as I am going through a lung transplant evaluation, they said to us, “It takes a village to take care of a child with CF” and we said, “oh we have a city!” it’s a really great system we have.

My Dad hates moving, it’s like a nightmare to him, but he’s had to move like a thousand times in his life. I was born in Austin, Texas, that’s where my mom was born and raised. My mom met my dad in Austin, and I was born there, then we moved over to New York when I was like one and I stayed there till I was like three then we moved over to California and I’ve been here ever since. Traveling is one of my big things, same thing with my dad; he loves to travel but hates to move. I thought it was funny when I told him I was doing this he was like, “really for a moving company? Really?” I thought that was ironic! But I love moving, I love packing everything up in the boxes, unpacking and organizing everything, same thing with my mom and my grandma too.

I was seven when Ellie was born. We get along great. It’s interesting because they say that when you grow older you lose your sense of imagination. Having Ellie has made it impossible to lose that sense of imagination. Every half an hour she says, “Can we play imaginary kids now?” I kind of depend on her to keep that sense of imagination going. Sometimes, since my hospital is all the way out in Long Beach, we have to drive from Malibu Canyon down to Long Beach which is a very very long drive. So in the car we’ll stare out the window and imagine the trucks being sea turtles and crazy cool things like that. Really I have a great relationship with Ellie.

You should know some of the things that I love!

Like I said, I love Yoga, it’s one of my favorite things, and I’ve been doing it for seven years. I’m really into the whole green thing. I really really want to be an advocate for children with, not only CF, but really all diseases and really in charge of your own care, and what goes on with you. There are times when I am in the hospital, and you’re not supposed to have air in your IV because it goes to your straight to your heart and if air goes to the blood line it can give you a bad blood clot and kill you. That’s one of the big dangerous of having an IV. I’ll look over and see a big air bubbles and I’ll call the nurses and they’ll take them out, but I wonder to myself, kids like that if they don’t take charge of what goes on a lot of really bad things can happen. You know nurses are geniuses and so are doctors, but they have shallow and wide, but you as your own individual care taker have narrow and deep, you know yourself. That’s one of the really important things for children with disease to know themselves and know what needs to go on.