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Monday, May 2, 2016

Teen battling leukemia has support

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Chantal (left) and sister Brycelynn share a moment at hospital
The threat of rain didn't stop friends, and even some strangers, from attending a recent fundraiser for Chantal Johnson, the 19-year-old, North Putnam High School graduate who is battling leukemia.

Jodie and Aaron Clodfelter, who live at Heritage Lake, hosted a community car wash last weekend to raise money for Chantal and her parents, Wendy and Bruce Johnson, along with her sister, 12-year-old Brycelynn.

The rain held off long enough for the car wash to take place, allowing for $500 to be raised for Chantal and her family. Many people stopped by to have their cars washed, but some just came long enough to donate money.

Jodie recalled a man, who didn't even know Chantal, stopping by and giving money because of his own experience with leukemia in the past.

"We had a wonderful day," Jodie wrote in an e-mail. "Lots of good friends and children were working so hard and had a blast."

Chantal, who is currently receiving care at Riley Hospital in Indianapolis, issued this statement in response to the recent show of support by the community:

"I, like most everyone else who had never before been faced with a serious illness, never thought this could happen to me and took for granted my life and opportunities I had been given.

"Once I was, two things became abundantly clear -- your health and the love of family and friends should never been taken for granted. I will never forget and can never show my appreciation enough, or thank all of you enough for your love, well wishes, and support. It will stay with me forever."

Chantal was diagnosed with leukemia last year and is in remission, according to Jodie, however she recently has been experiencing some complications.

In an update to family and friends this week, Jodie wrote that Chantal recently sat up for the first time in several weeks. But she is in a weakened condition and remains in the intensive care unit.

"Please continue to pray for her. She has made a great change within the last week and I know that the Lord is healing her," Jodie wrote. "Let's just continue to think of her and pray for her health."

In the meantime, Chantal's sister Brycelynn has been living with the Clodfelters so her parents can care for Chantal.

Jodie said she hopes the car wash helps the Johnsons, not only financially, but she hopes it will encourage Chantal to keep fighting. Jodie videotaped Saturday's car wash and played it for Chantal.

"Giving Chantal the hope and strength to keep fighting on Saturday was our intent to show her that she is loved by many and we did just that," Jodie said. "The video was funny and an unforgettable moment. The memories that our children will have from helping and reaching out to this family -- those memories are forever."

Jodie said she is looking into the possibility of starting a trust fund for Chantal and her family in the future.

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