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.
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.
1 month ago cradled in my arms fighting for each and every breath you finally drew your last. At 11:26 pm your tired heart finally came to peace fluttering under my hand like a small bird that had finally stopped fluttering it's wings and you left us hopefully for a better place.
While my love, I am so glad you are no longer suffering there has been nothing kind or light since you left us Ariel. You were the very laughter that lived in my soul and the comedic joy that knit our family together and your absence is a void vaster than I could have ever dreamed possible. All the world is a haze of grey and pain since that moment came 1 mos ago and it only gets bleaker every day.
Today has been horrible in ways I could have never foreseen and I wish with every fiber of my being that I was gone and with you right now, wherever that may be.
I live in the present for your brother, sister and father who are just as lost without you but seem better equipped than I am to move forward. I had never considered that I sat in a hospital with you or at your side non stop for 2 yrs straight while everyone around us lived their lives around the disease not in the eye of the storm We lived to fight the disease and now with you no longer here to hold, to fight for, to cling too, I don't know who or what I am anymore. I am lost in a world that stopped for me Feb of 2011, I don't know the people around me, what they are doing, who've they've become.
I dream of you constantly, reliving your last moments over and over, and I take full responsibility for all that occurred. I am so sorry my love, you begged me to save you and I failed you.I wake every morning and go to bed every night with a quiet prayer for death in the hopes of holding you and laughing with you once more.
We will set the lanterns alight at 11:26 in memory of the moment you finally were freed of all your pain.and while I know it's not what you'd wish, know that right now the pain and the brokenness lives on because we loved you so dearly and are drowning in missing you.