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Ariel Rose’s Story

Please note, donations made to Caring Bride do NOT go to Ariel directly. If you would like to donate to help with Ariel's growing medical expenses you can do so at  http://www.teamariel.com/donate

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



Melinda Bailey
By Melinda Bailey
Thinking of all of you right now, but mostly thinking of that wonderful girl who was gone much, much too soon. Love!
1 person hearted this
Kristin Celio
By Kristin Celio
Beautiful...sending hugs...
2 people hearted this
Elise Brooks
By Elise
It's good to hear from you, Crystal, and get a reminder about what a special person Ariel is. I can't imagine how hard it is for you all to function without her.
2 people hearted this
angela and autumn woodard
By Angela Woodard
Such a beautiful tribute to a beautiful young lady. I never had the pleasure of meeting Ariel but she touched my heart. You all are always in my prayers and I will continue to pray for you all.
1 person hearted this
Kathleen Reiley
By Kathleen Reiley
That was a beautiful tribute on Ariel's 16th birthday! I think of her and your family often. Wishing Ariel a Happy 16th Birthday in Heaven as she looks down on her beautiful family and wishing Elora a wonderful and Happy 16th Birthday!
1 person hearted this
Charles L
By Chuck.
That was lovely And touching Crystal. We were just talking about Ari Tuesday of last week. She'll always be in our hearts as will Elo, Ian, Jason and you. Miss you guys and happy 16th big E.
1 person hearted this
Joanna Odom
By Joanna Odom
I'm not family but I miss reading about Ariel ~~ Elora, you are so beautiful !
1 person hearted this
Lynn Duncan
By Lynn Duncan
She was a force, and that force I s still felt.
1 person hearted this
Karen Amos
By Karen Amos
With every Panda hat I see, I think of Ariel. When we drive past Discovery Kingdom, I think of Ariel's lion. Her spirit lives on in the hearts of many, Crystal.
2 people hearted this
colleen forno
Ariel I think of you almost every day and wonder how your mum and twin are doing. Every time I see a photo I especially inserted the word Brave across I smile and remember how brave and beautiful you were. Sleep peacefull sweet girl. Gone too soon. Xx. Colleen from Australia.
1 person hearted this