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HEMMELGARN CHLOE LEONA
CHLOE LEONA HEMMELGARN
Chloe Leona Hemmelgarn (19) peacefully passed away on January 2, 2011, in Tucson, AZ, after a courageous three-year battle with Rhabdomyosarcoma. Chloe was born on September 7, 1991, in Ohio. In her short life she was fortunate to have lived in Ohio, Canada, New York, Massachusetts, Hong Kong, and Arizona. Being a student at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Chloe loved the sunshine and mountains and considered it her home.
Chloe is survived by her parents, Terry and Lois Hemmelgarn; her brother, Jack (16); and her twin sisters, Emma and Rachael (9). The family currently resides in Bentleyville, Ohio. Chloe is also survived by her maternal grandmother, Leona Knapke; paternal grandparents, Lowell and Carolyn Hemmelgarn; paternal great-grandmother, Luella Franck, as well as many aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends that all adored and loved her immensely. A brother, Nick, and her maternal grandfather, Louis Knapke, preceded her in death.
One of Chloe's passions was experiencing new cultures and she was able to fulfill that by living and traveling extensively both domestically and internationally with her family. She loved expressing her individuality, which was shown through her tattoos, piercings, and vibrant hair colors. The lives of many people were touched by her zest for life, her strength, beautiful smile and spontaneous laughter.
In her many journal entries on the Caring Bridge website, Chloe wished to share the "good, the bad, the ugly, the unedited" story of her journey with cancer. Here is an example of Chloe's words which depicts the grace, dignity, and strength she showed in her life:
"After hearing this news (cancer recurrence) I'm sure you are wondering how I am handling it. I am actually handling it a lot better than I thought would if I were to be put in this situation. I have come to the conclusion that this is just something I have to accept. My goal from now on is to have the most fun and experience the most things I can every day. I have learned how to make the best out of unfortunate situations. I do not feel angry and I do not feel scared. I cannot exactly describe how I feel. In a way I feel a sort of peace and acceptance with my circumstances and am prepared to do what needs to be done. Although I do feel sadness I also feel strength. In a way I feel even stronger than I did before and intend to use this to my advantage. As we all know life is not fair. But as I have said before the most fulfilling lives are not the longest ones, they are the ones that experience the most."
A gathering of close to 90 immediate family members was held at her parents' home in Ohio to celebrate her life. At Chloe's request, her remains will be dispersed in the places she loved. Condolences can be emailed to her family at www.ChloeLeona@aol.com. Donations can be made to the Sarcoma Foundation of America, 9884 Main Street, Damascus, MD 20872 (www.curesarcoma.org) or CaringBridge, Donation Processing Center, P.O. Box 6032, Albert Lea, MN 56007-6632 (www.caringbridge.org) in her memory.
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