Ariella was born on October 2, 2007 to Erica and David Stein. As a very young child she was a bit shy but quickly grew out of that to become an independent, sassy, spunky, feisty, outgoing girl. She loved to dance and spent most of her time at the dance studio. She danced all styles but her favorite was tap. When not at the studio she loved to be with her friends. She made friends wherever she went and was a natural leader. Ariella was so vibrant with a natural exuberance and zest for life.
Ariella was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma in her right tibia in February 2017, at 9 years old. After 17 rounds of chemo and extensive limb salvage surgery, she was declared No Evidence of Disease in December 2017. However, she relapsed in June 2018 and ultimately died from complications from bone marrow transplant on May 9, 2019.
Even when battling her own illness, Ariella wanted to help other children. She got the idea to go to Build a Bear and make bears to bring to other children in hospitals. And Ari’s Bears was born. Before passing away Ariella hand delivered bears to 7 local hospitals and respite houses and mailed many bears to children in other states. Her parents plan to honor Ariella’s legacy by continuing Ari’s Bears and Ariella’s vision by bringing bears to as many children as possible.
The video to the left is Ariella talking about why she started Ari’s Bears.