CHILL FAMILY. JEFF, KARLEE AND TWIN BOYS LOGAN AND GRIFFIN CHILL IN SUMMER 2012.
Chill Family of Five
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Karlee and Jeff Chill are the proud parents of twins Logan and Griffin and daughter Evelyn. After Logan was unexpectedly hospitalized for seizures in March 2012 at 18 months old, the twins were diagnosed with Alper’s Disease. Logan passed away on Aug. 21, 2012, remembered by loved ones for his delight in balloons and bubbles and his ornery smile. Griffin was a doting big brother to Evelyn, born in July 2016, sharing with her his love of movies and playing pretend, even as his health began to decline. Griffin graduated kindergarten the following spring, where the joyful, strong-willed superhero fanatic was known to write his favorite characters’ names on school papers in lieu of his own. Griffin passed away on Aug. 21, 2017, five years to the day after his twin brother. The Chills challenged family and friends to celebrate their boys’ eighth birthday in September 2018 through random acts of kindness. They were overwhelmed by the far-reaching response. Chill grieves her boys every day but believes even in the worst circumstances, good triumphs. “Just because their lives were short, they were still filled with great purpose,” said Chill. “I may struggle with why it has to be this way, but I know if it hadn’t their lives wouldn’t have touched this many people.”
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16 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / FEBRUARY 2019
McLaughlin Family of Seven Mike and Ryan McLaughlin always dreamed of having a large family. Oldest son Conner is a laid-back high school freshman with a quick wit and is at ease as a compassionate caregiver for his siblings. Second-born Ellie Kate, diagnosed with NKH shortly after birth, was dubbed the family’s consecrated princess, and the girly girl with a fighting spirit loved music, dancing, Hello Kitty and My Little Pony. McLaughlin said Ellie had a hard life, characterized by hospital stays and GI pain, but she was adored so much by her nurses that the day the family took Ellie home on hospice, they lined the halls and cheered for her. Ellie Kate passed away on Dec. 23, a few weeks after her seventh birthday. Third-born Henry is a smart, tender-hearted 10-year-old, quick to include children who look or act differently. Shortly after his big sister died, he began having seizures and was eventually diagnosed with PANDAS, for which he is undergoing treatment. Daughter Lucy Belle was born in 2011, also diagnosed with NKH and shared a love of all things girly with the big sister she knew only for a year. Ellie loved to crawl or hop after McLaughlin as she carried baby Lucy around the house. Lucy recently turned 7 and loves to be held, baby dolls with long hair, music and baby sister Bowen.