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Ariel Rose’s Story

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Thank You! 

Ariel Rose Gariano came into my life on August 19, 1998. One of a set of twins she was already extraordinary from the moment she came into this world, but I couldn't in my wildest imagination begin to realise just how special, just how brave, just how inspiring my little girl has proven to be.

Ariel - her name means 'Lioness of God'. It's a name she would live up to within days of her birth. At the great age of 3 days Ariel was diagnosed with a laryngeal cleft, a rare airway birth defect in which her trachea and esophagus were not completely divided. Ariel would undergo multiple surgeries at two medical institutions, Children’s Hospital Oakland and Children’s Medical Center Cincinnati. We had been warned from the beginning that Ariel faced many challenges and the odds were stacked against her.
But Ariel is a fighter like few can imagine and she came out of her surgeries with amazing results. As she grew older we realized in spite of the multiple occassionas that she had been oxygen deprived while aspirating she was in tact and very much a normal little girl. We really began to believe we had escaped our worst nightmares as Ariel grew into a beautiful, healthy little girl.

 On October 26, 2007, however, the nightmares came back, only this time they were scarier than anything we had previously imagined.

Ariel was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, Rhabdomyosarcoma, when a large tumor was found in her sinus cavity and was encroaching on her right eye.

She would endure a year of chemotherapy, radiation, multiple surgeries and in August of 2008 she was declared disease free.

Ariel has been cancer free for 30 months and she's blossomed into a lovely young lady. Smart, Funny, Compassionate, Fearess she is so full  of life it seems incomprehensible that we would be told the cancer appears to have returned.

We are beginning our next fight and we are clinging to our girl, her fighting spirit and are holding to our hearts the knowledge that nobody likes to defy the odds quite like Ariel.

She's been doing it since birth and hopefully she can do it again.

Latest Journal Update

Happy Sweet Sixteen My Angel

Yesterday on Aug 19 2014, at 12:10 pm Ariel Rose turned 16 in heaven, At 12:22, here on earth, Elora Catherine, Ariel's identical (and younger, that a was a very important 12 minute lead in Ariel's book) twin turned 16 as well. 
Elora's growing into a beautiful young women and I'm very proud to be her Mother (even with the hormones that accompany 16 yr old girls) but another milestone passes and I find myself wishing I could make any Faustian bargain to see my Ariel again.
What might have been today. What would she be doing now. Rooting on her Giants swearing up and down on her 2 yr rule?  (2 yr rule - Giants win the WS 1 yr, than they take the following year off to save their strength, perfect the teams secret weapon - this Giant heart to take on anything and everything, now matter what.
I know she'd be excited at the thought of driving and employment. You know her very 1st job application was going to go to  Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, I remember a direct quote "Even if I only get to pick up Lion poop Mom I want to work their!" And if you had seen how excited and funny she thought it was when a 600+lb male lion tried to 'mark' her, you'd know she meant it. Thank God for the sharp eyes of Capt Lee, his quick moving spared us the adventure of a child soaked in lion-urine......as so many things about Ariel, you can't make these things up. 
I can't help but remember she was 13 then, so excited to call herself a teenager. A yr later she'd be almost too ill to acknowledge her 14th bday and the parties stopped just before Christmas.
The world didn't stop, life didn't stop, and yet some days I feel like screaming at God for allowing life to go on without her.
Her laughter, her love, her generosity, her instant connection with every she met and even in her darkest and most painful moments, the ability to put other people before herself. She was all that at 13 at 14. In this age of hatred, selfishness, cyber relationships and ignorance, what could she have changed?  How many more lives could she have touched? People and animals she could have helped. That heart that beat in her chest held a wisdom and a love that defied her age, defied her generation.  

She was a normal girl in so many ways and an extraordinary person in ways I can't begin to describe. Her first breath was a fighting one, everyone in between left you laughing or crying or both, She did nothing by halves, and her last breath was made after years of fighting and proving the statistics wrong, but in my arms, her breath came out as a peaceful sigh, my beautiful girl leaving for a well earned rest,

Ariel, my love, my couer de lion, I wish you were still here with us, every minute of everyday, I had always thought I'd break the bank with 2 16th bdays for my beautiful girls, Minx and Jinx, It never dawned on me that this milestone would come with one cake and one pile of presents. 
The family will celebrate you this weekend and your friends will send you their love from the beaches in Sept but I'd give anything to ruffle your soft blond waves, kiss your beautiful face, and wish a happy birthday in person to the laughing girl with the beautiful blue eyes. Your list of demands would no doubt leave me howling with laughter and than later when you thought no one was looking, I'd catch you giving your birthday money and maybe a few presents away to someone you felt needed them more. All that fun, all that courage, all that beauty held a well of compassion that the world is sorely missing,
Just as I sorely miss you.
Happy Birthday ma petite fleur, Whatever it means in Heaven, I hope you know here on Earth, it means we love you and miss you more than words can ever say.
Mommy, Daddy, Ian and especially your ying to your yang, Elora.

112 people hearted this



Janet Odom
By Janet Odom
Thank you for the update. Thinking of you. Happy Birthday Elora! Ariel is watching from above and celebrating with you. much love and hugs
Nancy Tallman
By Grace Mae's MomMom, Nancy
Thank you for this post. How many ways it was "helpful" to me as our struggle on earth continues.
Thanking God that you and I know Him. That knowledge keeps me going.
Your message instilled something in me that I can not explain. . .but now I feel like I can go back to bed and get some rest.
Amanda from Ontario Canada
By Amanda from Ontario Canada
God how I miss reading your updates. I still can't believe she's gone.... Bless you all as you continue your journey in your "new normal".
1 person hearted this
Deborah Scully
By Deborah Scully
Happy Birthday Elora. It is so good to hear how everyone is doing. I think about your family often and wonder how you all are.
1 person hearted this
Sarah Nixdorf
By Sarah Nixdorf
Happy Heavenly 16th b-day. Thinking of you.
Www.caring bridge. org/visit/sarahnixdorf
1 person hearted this
Susan Bailey
By Susan Bailey
healed with Jesus, celebrating with you, the day He chose just for her <><
1 person hearted this
Beverly Reed
By Beverly Reed
Dear Crystal,

Thank you so much for updating on CB. I have thought so much of you and Ariel lately and wondered how you were all doing. I continue to pray for you and your family and especially Elora. Though I only knew Ariel through her CB page, I know we were soul mates in our love of animals. Our 9-yr. old lab was diagnosed with diabetes early this year and within the last couple of months has gone blind with cataracts due to her disease. We are doing all we can do to keep her healthy and happy. Much love to all of you and Happy Birthday to Elora. B
1 person hearted this
Joyce Nosker
By Joyce Nosker
Your beautiful Ariel was certainly one of a kind. I guess that isn't true genetically, but in so many ways I've only read about. Happy Birthday Elora and God bless you as you celebrate a milestone birthday.

Keeping all of you in my prayers. You have been on my mind lately, and I didn't remember the birthday. Funny how these things happen.
1 person hearted this
Eileen Farley
By Eileen Farley
Ariel certainly made a huge difference in the lives of everyone who met her. She is one home student I will never forget. I carry dollar bills and snacking food with me to give to the homeless, in memory of Ariel.
1 person hearted this
marilyn bergagnini
By marilyn bergagnini
1 person hearted this