CHLOES COURAGE FUND WAS BORN FROM THE IDEA OF A YOUNG GIRL WHO HAD ENDURED MANY YEARS OF CANCER TREATMENT AS A YOUNG CHILD.  HER PLAN TO GIVE BACK TO THAT WHICH SHE HAD RECEIVED, HAS TAKEN MANY YEARS TO BRING TO FRUITION.  CHLOE’S DREAM OF TAKING HER PROGRAM NATIONALLY WAS HER DYING WISH.

CHLOE WAS DIAGNOSED WITH LEUKEMIA AT AGE FOUR.  SHE ENDURED 2 ½ YEARS OF INTENSE CHEMOTHERAPY.  DURING THESE TREATMENTS SHE STRUGGLED IMMENSELY WITH ALL OF THE “POKES” AND “MEDICATIONS” INVOLVED IN HER THERAPY.  A WONDERFUL NURSE AT CHILDRENS HOSPITALS OF MINNEAPOLIS, LORI ELLINGSON, HELPED CHLOE TO BETTER DEAL WITH HER FEARS WITH THE PROMISE OF A “COURAGE” TROPHY.  NURSE LORI KNEW THAT CHLOE WAS A “HORSE PERSON, AND SHE PROMISED TO AWARD HER WITH A TROPHY IF SHE WOULD WORK HARD TO GET “THROUGH” HER TREATMENT PLAN.  CHLOE, WITH LORI’S LOVE AND SUPPORT AND PROMISE OF A TROPHY REWARD, DID COMPLETE HER THERAPY AND BEAT LEAUKEMIA FOR THE FIRST TIME.  SHE WAS INDEED AWARDED THE TROPHY FOR COURAGE AND ALWAYS DISPLAYED IT IN A PLACE OF HONOR.

WHEN CHLOE WAS SEVEN, HER CANCER RETURNED, AND SHE UNDERWENT A BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA.  IT WAS DURING THIS TIME THAT A FUND-RAISING BARREL RACE WAS HELD IN HER HONOR.  THE JOHN WINKELMAN FAMILY OF ST CLOUD RAISED APPROXIMATELY $2,000.00 AT THIS EVENT AND PRESENTED THE PROCEEDS TO YOUNG CHLOE.  CHLOE’S FAMILY WAS VERY APPRECIATIVE YET VERY PROUD, AND ONLY ALLOWED CHLOE TO RECEIVE THE FUNDS FOR HER PERSONAL USE.  SHE SET THE FUNDS ASIDE INTO A SAVINGS ACCOUNT TO WAIT UNTIL SHE WAS OLDER AND WISER AND COULD USE THE MONEY IN A RESPONSIBLE AND NECESSARY WAY.
CHLOE RECOVERED QUICKLY FROM THE BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT AND WENT BACK TO THE SPORT OF BARREL RACING THAT SHE LOVED SO MUCH.  CHLOE WORKED HARD AT EVERYTHING SHE DID.  SHE EARNED MANY BARREL RACING TITLES AND AWARDS, INCLUDING BEING THE MINNESOTA STATE NBHA  YOUTH CHAMPION TWICE, WORLD WIDE PAINT HORSE CHAMPION TWICE, AND WENT ON TO BE THE AQHYA WORLD CHAMPION BARREL RACER IN 2006.  SHE WORKED WITH THE NATIONAL BONE MARROW DONOR PROGRAM AND EVEN HOSTED HER OWN DONOR DRIVE.  SHE HAD A SPECIAL AFFECTION FOR CHILDREN’S CANCER RESEARCH FUND(CCRF), AND WORKED TIRELESSLY TO DO PHOTO SHOOTS, INTERVIEWS, AND EVEN MACY’S GLAMORAMA, APPEARING ON STAGE WITH BIG & RICH, GRETCHEN WILSON, AND COWBOY TROY.  HER PARENTS BELIEVE THAT, EVEN WITH ALL OF THE ACCOLADES THAT SHE ENJOYED, SHE WAS MOST PROUD OF HER 4.2 GPA AND HER CLEARLY PLANNED FUTURE GOAL OF ATTENDING MEDICAL SCHOOL.

AT AROUND AGE 10, WHEN CHLOE WAS TRAVELING AROUND THE COUNTRY WITH HER HORSES WHILE MAINTAINING HER EDUCATION AND GRADES, SHE DERIVED THE IDEA OF “CHLOES COURAGE FUND”.  SHE REALIZED THAT SHE COULD GIVE BACK TO THAT WHICH SHE HAD RECEIVED BY AWARDING OTHER CHILDREN WITH COURAGE TROPHIES TOO.  SHE FULLY UNDERSTOOD THE POWER THAT THE PROMISE OF THAT TROPHY HAD GIVEN HER AND THE STRENGTH THAT SHE HAD FOUND TO COMPLETE HER TREATMENT AND “WIN” THE TROPHY.  SHE TOOK THE BALANCE OF HER GIFTED SAVINGS ACCOUNT AND PURCHASED TROPHIES TO PRESENT TO ALL CHILDREN THAT RECEIVE TREATMENT FOR LIFE-THREATENING DISEASES AT CHILDREN’S HOPSITAL MINNEAPOLIS.

HUNDREDS OF CHLOE’S TROPHIES HAVE BEEN AWARDED OVER THE YEARS.  MANY OF THE STAFF AT CHILDREN’S HOPSITALS HAVE SHARED THEIR STORIES OF SUCCESS AND SHEER JOY THAT THIS PROGRAM HAS PROVIDED TO SO MANY CHILDREN.  CHILDREN’S HOSPITALS HAS EVEN USED PICTURES OF CHLOE’S TROPHIES IN THEIR TELEVISION ADVERTISEMENTS.  THE STAR AND TRIBUNE HAS PRINTED STORIES AND PICTURES OF CHLOE’S TROPHY PROGRAM AND OF HER PRESENTING TROPHIES TO VARIOUS RECIPIENTS.  MULTIPLE MINNEAPOLIS TELEVISION STATIONS HAVE PRODUCED BROADCASTS ABOUT CHLOE, HER STRUGGLES, AND HER TROPHY PROGRAM.  CHLOE’S FAMILY IS SO INCREDIBLY PROUD OF HER AND HER ACCOMPLISHMENTS, BUT MOSTLY BY THE FACTS THAT SHE BROUGHT SO MUCH GOOD INTO THE WORLD FROM WHAT WAS A TRAGIC AND PAINFUL REALITY IN HER LIFE. 

CHLOE PASSED AWAY PEACEFULLY WITH HER FAMILY BY HER SIDE 0N FEBRUARY 17, 2012 AT THE AGE OF 16.  HER DYING WISH WAS THAT HER FAMILY CONTINUE HER TROPHY PROGRAM AND THAT THEY FIND A WAY TO TAKE HER PROGRAM TO A NATIONAL LEVEL.  CHLOES COURAGE FUND WAS OFFICIALLY RECOGNIZED AS A 501(C)3 CHARITY IN 2013. CHLOES FAMILY AND A FEW CLOSE FRIENDS SERVE ON THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS FOR THE ORGANIZATION.  IT IS THEIR GOAL TO FUND RAISE AND GROW THE ORGANIZATION TO REACH HER DREAM OF GOING “NATIONAL” JUST LIKE SHE DID WITH HER BELOVED HORSES.

RIDE ON, CHLOE, RIDE ON. 


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