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.