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Amber Chaffee

Oxford, IN

Entry Photo for Amber Chaffee - Oxford, IN

Amber was born two and a half months early on December 27, 1981 weighing 2 lbs 13oz, she came out fighting. Amber’s first feat in life would be to prove the doctors wrong, they told her parents she wouldn’t live to go home. Fifty-one days later she proved them wrong. Those that know Amber would bet money that she smirked at the doctors while leaving; as nothing makes Amber happier than doing what she has been told she cannot.
Amber has defeated numerous obstacles placed before her. She moved into her first place at 19 due to her hunger for independence. Willing to accept a helping hand when needed, Amber would much rather do it on her own.
Amber has worked full-time at Wal-Mart since November 7, 2006; she loves her job, and wouldn’t feel so badly if she didn’t also know the downside. Working is possible because of the dedication of her Mother, Dawn, to ensure that Amber leads an independent and normal life. Also working at Wal-Mart she picks Amber up every night, and drops her off every morning. No big deal, right? Wrong! Dawn routinely drives forty extra miles so that Amber can enjoy the freedoms most take for granted. It was even more amazing that she continued in doing so after being diagnosed with cancer in 2007. Driving isn’t the hard part; the hard part comes in the loading/unloading. Amber’s wheelchair is not light. Dawn has to get the wheelchair in and out of her van, with the use of tri-fold ramps four times a night.
With Dawn’s encouragement, Amber, worked towards getting her driver’s license. After a year and a half she got them on July 24, 2009, achieving her biggest goal. Everyone remembers how they felt when the first got their license, overwhelming excitement with the urge to jump in a car and go. This was quickly overcome by the realization that she needed a vehicle to complete this goal. Then something rare happens; Amber has found a hurdle bigger than she can jump, as the cost of a vehicle is beyond limits. The biggest and most out of reach goal to complete her independence is a vehicle. If Amber had a vehicle the sky would be the limit. If Amber had the means, she would impact every lucky person she encounters. Amber is the most determined person many of us have ever known.