“It’s not my story to tell,” Chloe Nuttbrock would say.
Chloe, a high school senior at Kamiak High School in Mukilteo, tragically passed away on Mar. 16 after suffering an aneurysm. She was 18.
This is Chloe’s story.
Her mother, Erika - a teacher at Kamiak - described Chloe as remarkable and extremely smart. She was protective of people’s vulnerabilities.
“She just made me a better person, and ever since she was born, I just wanted to be better for her,” said Erika. “I feel lucky that God picked me to be the guardian of this very bright star that I think just had so much sparkle that she couldn’t sustain it for much longer than 18 years.”
She was also a diplomatically direct person. Erika remembers when Chloe was a 6th grader in middle school, kids from 6th to 8th grade were in the gym for P.E. when an 8th grader shoved a 6th-grade boy to the ground. Chloe - who was not big for her age - picked up the other 6th grader and got into the 8th grader’s face, telling him to back off, adding, “You can’t do that.”
Her Olympic View Middle School teacher took notice and awarded Chloe the CitizenSHIP Award.
Chloe was named a National Special Olympics Youth Ambassador, where she used her voice to advocate for inclusion for kids with intellectual disabilities.
She would even speak at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., advocating for funding for unified programs.
Chloe even attended the USA Games as an ambassador for the Special Olympics in Florida.
“It just blows my mind to read all this stuff about her,” said Matt Nuttbrock, Chloe’s dad. “How many lives and people that she’s touched, and you read them, and people are saying like how they were going through a bad time or having a bad day, and then Chloe made them feel special.”
She was also a swim instructor at the Lynnwood Rec center for people with and without intellectual disabilities.
Chloe was also an incredible musician. Before her involvement in the Kamiak Show Band, she started with the violin in the 4th grade and moved on to the saxophone in the 6th grade.
She also played the baritone sax, describing it as an “underdog instrument” that not many kids want to play. She would say it was her favorite instrument to play.
She would also play the bassoon and the flute and even learned to play the piano.
Chloe wanted to be a Special Education teacher working at elementary schools with children with and without intellectual disabilities.
She looked forward to attending Gonzaga to study special education after recently being awarded a $21,000 scholarship.
Her mom said she had been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from students, faculty and the community.
There will be a candlelight vigil for Chloe on Tuesday, Mar. 28, at 7 p.m. at Mukilteo Beach.
If you’d like to help Chloe’s family with medical and funeral costs, a GoFundMe has been organized on their behalf.
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