Aria Alaniz Gatzlaff
MUNCIE - Aria Alaniz Gatzlaff was born into this world on January 12, 2011. There was considerable doubt whether she would survive, with anomalies in virtually every organ system.
With the ferocious love of her parents, Kevin and Rachael and her older sister, Daisy, and the help of a team of heroes including several outstanding doctors and her intervener Paulette Jones, she thrived, and outperformed every expectation anyone ever had for her. She was an inspiration to many and brought joy to everyone she met.
Although living with multiple severe disabilities including deafblindness, Aria experienced the world vibrantly. She rode horses. She loved the school bus and Miss Nikki's class at Storer Elementary. She zipped around the house in her gait trainer (not minding crashing into the walls). She was enthralled by bright lights, and especially by fireworks. Like most little girls, she was fascinated with the princesses at Disney World. She was enraptured by the sound of her mother's beautiful singing voice, and loved bouncing along to her daddy's 80's hair band rock and roll music. Her smile was like none other in the world, and she showed it often and enthusiastically.
Tragically, Fanconi Anemia has no cure. Aria was always living on borrowed time. On September 6, Aria was admitted to Riley Children's Hospital in severe bone marrow failure, with an internal bleed that no amount of transfusions could stem. She was discharged into hospice care on September 11, and spent the rest of her life pain-free and comfortably at peace, surrounded by her family's love. On September 20, 2015, she passed away while holding her daddy's hand.
We are thankful to have been entrusted with the care of a little girl who showed us the very best in so many people. The amount of support shown by friends and family during this difficult time has been tremendous. This experience has reminded us of the most important truth there is: To love another person is to see the face of God.
Visitation is from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday, Septmeber 26, 2015 at Elm Ridge Funeral Home at 4600 W. Kilgore Ave in Muncie with a joyous music-filled service to follow at 5:00 p.m.
Please wear bright colors, Aria loved color. Be the Match will be available after 4:00 p.m. to register bone marrow donors in Aria's memory (it's a simple cheek swab). An awesome outdoor dinner and party will take place at the Gatzlaff house immediately following the service. All those who have been touched by Aria's life are welcome!
In lieu of flowers, the family requests support for a fund that has been established to support causes that have affected Aria and her family in her four short years. Please visit www.gofundme.com/celebratearia
for details. Direct donations can be accepted at the visitation or at the ceremony. Thank you to all who loved Aria. We are forever grateful.
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Published by The Star Press on Sep. 24, 2015.