FORTH Worthy of, Texas – An athletic, typical teen at the time, Haylee Chiariello was faced with an unexpected, life-altering diagnosis.
“During a routine eye exam at the Oklahoma City Indian Clinic, it was identified that my optic nerves were incredibly swollen,” Chiariello claimed. “Within two weeks, I was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, which is water on the brain. I experienced emergency brain surgical procedures the up coming 7 days. At the time, I was just a freshman in substantial school, so this was completely unexpected. It all took place so rapidly.”
The Cherokee Nation citizen from Oklahoma Town credits an early prognosis and the subsequent restoration to complete screenings.
“I would not have gained that prognosis without having the treatment that I obtained at the Oklahoma Town Indian Clinic,” she reported. “For that I’m so grateful. I take into consideration that my private legacy: I want to go on to provide Indigenous individuals for the reason that it saved my everyday living.”
Now 22, Chiariello is driving the wave as a highlighted baton twirler at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth and recent contestant in the Miss out on Oklahoma pageant.
“What seriously fueled me in the direction of a bright long run was remembering my targets and my journey,” she said, “and that as a youthful Cherokee woman, I can truly impact some life when sharing my tale of miraculous healing.”
Chiariello hopes to just one day function in a nonprofit environment advertising and marketing well being initiatives for Native Us residents in addition to pursuing a legislation diploma concentrating on tribal law.
“Native persons encounter disproportionately substantial fees of lots of distinctive well being problems,” she said. “We’re struggling to get over challenges like diabetes and hypertension. It’s especially commonplace between our youth. As an athlete, I want to assist be a component of that transform. I use my expertise as a baton twirler to present kids that dwelling a nutritious, energetic way of living can be definitely entertaining and lead you to amazing spots.”
A nationally ranked baton twirler, Chiariello started out as a youngster, mimicking her father’s rifle-twirling routines.
“My father is a U.S. Military veteran and served as a presidential escort,” Chiariello mentioned. “He was in the honor guard, so he did the 21-gun salute and was associated with the Arlington Cemetery doing all of individuals extraordinary, incredible factors. So he twirled rifles during those alternatives. All-around the dwelling, he would decide up a broomstick, an umbrella, a hockey adhere, and he would twirl it. Of training course, his kids required to try out it, much too, and it seriously caught with me. It’s been my first enjoy. It is introduced me to some unbelievable sites and I have achieved some incredible folks as a result of this sport.”
Her baton twirling expertise landed Chiariello a highlighted place on the TCU crew, undertaking in front of crowds as significant as 70,000.
“I’m in awe to consider that a young Cherokee female who was explained to she experienced to have emergency brain surgical procedures, that she may perhaps not regain the skills she experienced just before, is now serving as a featured twirler at a big, D1 Big 12 institution,” she stated. “I am so honored. But I continue to have a lot that I want to do. I’m just acquiring started off.”
Chiariello was originally a college student at the University of Oklahoma, but was lured to TCU with academic grants and the featured baton twirler place.
“I have a major existence on this campus as a Indigenous scholar,” she claimed. “TCU does not have a good deal of Native American representation, but they’re trying to get that conversation began. I have been equipped to assistance in some of those people efforts. I serve on TCU’s Race & Reconciliation Initiative committee. I serve as the sole scholar consultant on TCU’s Indigenous American Advisory Circle. I’m having to be a section of these discussions about what we need to do to make Indigenous people experience welcomed.”
In the course of the university’s Reconciliation Working day this year, Chiariello was invited to read TCU’s Native American land acknowledgement.
“I really launched myself in Cherokee, and that was a fantastic possibility to showcase Cherokee lifestyle and the magnificence of our language,” she mentioned. “I just take each chance to share my tale and serve as an example of staying a Native university student at a non-public institution and what that seems like. It is been a fun journey.”
Chiariello was born and raised in Oklahoma Metropolis, but her family traces back again to Welch, Oklahoma, in Craig County. She and her three brothers were being household-schooled, which offered the siblings “a really unique upbringing,” she explained.
“It permitted us to actually have a particular connection with our Cherokee culture,” she said. “It was amazing and now we’re obtaining to do massive things on collegiate campuses.”
Before this 12 months – and for the to start with time – Chiariello competed for the title of Pass up Oklahoma, earning a spot in the top 10.
“I spoke Cherokee on the Skip Oklahoma stage and I been given the On-Phase Job interview Award,” she stated. “It was an complete aspiration appear accurate for me to be able to share that aspect of my existence and be in a position to show people what a modern day, Native American lady appears to be like.”
Through the talent part of the level of competition, Chiariello incorporated Native dance into her regime.
“So I wore my family’s fancy fringe and I did a Indigenous-motivated baton twirling plan,” she claimed.
Following her pageant visual appeal, Chiariello was spotlighted in “Drum Major” journal, a publication she grew up looking through.