"No child, no family, should have to suffer like this," Johnson's mother Wendie wrote on a website dedicated to her 20-year-old daughter's battle with leukemia. "My daughter, Chantal, will be with me forever, in my heart and mind, she is everywhere. Chantal gives me strength to go on each day."
Johnson, once an active athlete and cheerleader for North Putnam High School, was diagnosed with leukemia in May of 2006 and given only a 5-percent chance to live. Her battle continued for the next 21 months and she was in and out of treatment during that time.
Johnson turned 20 years old on Feb. 5 of this year and a short time later developed an infection and complications, which eventually led to kidney failure. Despite efforts by doctors, Johnson passed away on Feb. 27, 2008.
"Through all of her struggles, pain, and many complications, Chantal believed she would make it through," her mother wrote. "Maybe that's why she survived as long as she did. A positive attitude, good spirit, full of joy, and smiling face is what I remember about my daughter. When facing what she faced in the manner in which she faced it makes her a brave soul."
Family members are determined not to let Chantal's memory die and that's why the car wash they held last year to help the family with expenses has been turned into an annual event to raise money for research and treatment of others like Chantal.
The Johnson family and their friends are planning a car wash this Saturday, April 19 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Heritage Lake home of Jodie Clodfelter, a close friend of the family.
The address is 461 Mill Springs Drive, in the Putnam County community of Heritage Lake. Johnson is asking anyone interested in helping raise money for leukemia research and treatment to stop by and have their cars washed with proceeds benefiting Riley Hospital's Stem Cell Unit.
Additionally, the Johnsons and other supporters of Chantal have formed a team to participate in this year's Putnam County Relay for Life, to be held May 3-4 at DePauw University in Greencastle. The link for Team Chantal Lace can be found on the Internet at main.acsevents.org/goto/Chantal
There is also a Mosaic of Hope for Chantal on the American Cancer Society's website. The address is main.acsevents.org/goto/chantallacestory