Jackson County

5-year-old Vancleave girl dies after battle with rare cancer. 'She taught us so much.'

Ariana Farragut died Saturday, May 12, 2018, after a fight with a brain cancer known as ATRT.
Ariana Farragut died Saturday, May 12, 2018, after a fight with a brain cancer known as ATRT. Courtesy Farragut family

From the time she was 2, Ariana Farragut battled a rare and deadly brain cancer, but she met each day with a smile on her face and the perseverance to fight for another day.

At 5:51 p.m. Saturday, said Ariana's mother, Jenna Farragut, her first-born child, her princess, her mermaid and the the love of her and father Lee Farragut's life, “ran into the arms of Jesus.”

“She is no longer suffering and no longer fighting for her life,” Jenna Farragut said. “For that, we are grateful. Please pray for our broken hearts and crushed spirits.”

Ariana's parents have shared a lot about their daughter's journey through cancer since her diagnosis.

They shared Ariana's struggles and triumphs over the years in her fight with a rare brain tumor known as atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor, or ATRT.

Just five days before her death, Ariana, also known by her friends and family as Ari, was delighted to accept communion and “receive Jesus” at her home with her parents by her side, her mother said.

One of the last pictures taken of Ariana was snapped when Ari asked her mom take a picture of their family together around the kitchen table — the photo included Ari, her mom and dad, and Ari's younger siblings, Jameson and Evageline.

In the days that followed, Ari spent a lot of her time sedated due to pain.

A day after her death, Jenna Farragut took time out to wish a happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there.

“There are no greater shoes to fill,” Jenna Farragut said. “Hug your kids tighter today, and cherish every moment. I cherished my time, but I already long for Ari and miss her so.”

Ariana's battle with ATRT began in November 2014.

Doctors found the tumor after Ariana had a fall and her parents took her to a doctor's office to make sure she didn't suffer a concussion because she was vomiting.

That same night, her parents learned of the mass in her brain.

During her fight with cancer, Ari underwent at least six surgeries but was in remission for two years before the cancer returned just before Christmas 2016.

“Ariana could light up a room with her smile,” her parents said. “She had such a passion for life, and she fought to live up until the very moment she met Jesus.”

Her parents said Ari taught them so much in five short years about bravery, kindness, selflessness, perseverance and so much more.

That fight ended peacefully in the loving arms of her parents.

Her wake is from 5-8 p.m. Thursday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in D'Iberville.

A celebration of life and mass is at 11 a.m. Friday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

The family is asking those who attend to honor Ari's request that everyone who attends her celebration of life dress in purple, pink or white.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ariana's honor to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or CURE ATRT Now.

The family has asked that no pictures be taken at the services.

To help the family with expenses, a GoFundMe account is set up.

Margaret Baker 228-896-0538, margar45