That happy, smiling baby on her daddy’s lap in the passenger seat of Orange’s Engine 34, is Chloe Clemens, the inspiration for the bright purple trucks.
If you don’t know her story, here’s what you missed over the past year:
In June of 2016 at 9 months of age, Chloe Clemens was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma. Chloe was being treated at Yale-New Haven Hospital.
Neuroblastoma is the most common extracranial solid cancer in childhood and is the most common cancer in infancy. There are nearly 650 cases reported yearly in the US.
Half of those cases are discovered in children under two years old. It is a neuroendocrine tumor of the sympathetic nervous system that most frequently originates in one of the adrenal glands but can develop in the nerve tissues in the neck chest, abdomen, or pelvis.
Chloe is the granddaughter of Orange residents, Mike and Pam Clemens. The Clemens Family owns Mike’s Towing in Orange. Mike is a retired member of the Orange Fire Department where he volunteered for more than 25 years.
Chloe’s maternal grandparents, Sharon and Curt Anderson also are longtime Orange residents. Chloe’s parents, Will and Leigh Clemens both grew up in Orange and currently reside in Woodbridge.
In August 2016, the tri-town volunteer fire departments (Bethany, Orange, and Woodbridge) each wrapped one of their trucks in the purple Courage For Chloe design in support of the baby girl and her family.
Chloe’s hospital visits and cancer treatments went on for several more months, yet her beautiful smile never left her face and now, thankfully, she is healthy — the miracle that an entire region prayed for.