Chalee Lucille Gilliland was born February 16, 2001 and went to be with the Lord on September 22, 2012. She was born with Cystic Fibrosis (CF), an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. Worldwide, over 70,000 children and adults have CF.
Chalee overcame many obstacles at birth, including four life threatening surgeries where she lost 2/3 of her small intestines, the area where digestion and food absorption mainly takes place.
Chalee had sparkling blue eyes that were wiser than her age. Once she was cleared by her physicians, she hit the ground running! Chalee had a heart for people and animals-- especially horses. She was constantly talking about them, looking at pictures of them, pretending to be one, or riding one.
Once she learned of the Indiana Junior Rodeo, she was thrilled! The sound of the buzzer set her free! She lived, breathed, and loved barrel racing. It was both her physical therapy and her life support.
Chalee won numerous titles and awards while barrel racing, and she always cheered for each competitor. Chalee never met a stranger, as everyone she met was a potential new best friend. Although her time here on earth was painfully too short, she truly lived like there was no tomorrow! She lives on in our hearts, and through the actions of the foundation.