FORTH Value, Texas – An athletic, usual teen at the time, Haylee Chiariello was confronted with an sudden, lifestyle-altering diagnosis.
“During a regime eye exam at the Oklahoma Metropolis Indian Clinic, it was found that my optic nerves had been exceptionally swollen,” Chiariello reported. “Within two months, I was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, which is drinking water on the brain. I had emergency brain operation the next 7 days. At the time, I was just a freshman in superior university, so this was entirely unexpected. It all took place so fast.”
The Cherokee Country citizen from Oklahoma Metropolis credits an early prognosis and the subsequent restoration to extensive screenings.
“I would not have received that prognosis with no the care that I obtained at the Oklahoma City Indian Clinic,” she claimed. “For that I’m so grateful. I contemplate that my personalized legacy: I want to proceed to serve Native people simply because it saved my daily life.”
Now 22, Chiariello is using the wave as a featured baton twirler at Texas Christian University in Fort Well worth and current contestant in the Skip Oklahoma pageant.
“What genuinely fueled me towards a vibrant potential was remembering my goals and my journey,” she claimed, “and that as a youthful Cherokee woman, I can really impression some lives when sharing my story of miraculous therapeutic.”
Chiariello hopes to 1 day perform in a nonprofit placing promoting overall health initiatives for Indigenous Us residents in addition to pursuing a regulation diploma focusing on tribal regulation.
“Native individuals deal with disproportionately significant costs of numerous unique health and fitness troubles,” she mentioned. “We’re having difficulties to triumph over troubles like diabetic issues and hypertension. It’s especially commonplace amid our youth. As an athlete, I want to aid be a aspect of that change. I use my expertise as a baton twirler to show kids that dwelling a balanced, lively way of life can be definitely enjoyment and direct you to amazing locations.”
A nationally ranked baton twirler, Chiariello begun as a boy or girl, mimicking her father’s rifle-twirling routines.
“My dad is a U.S. Military veteran and served as a presidential escort,” Chiariello reported. “He was in the honor guard, so he did the 21-gun salute and was associated with the Arlington Cemetery doing all of those amazing, unbelievable things. So he twirled rifles during these prospects. All around the dwelling, he would choose up a broomstick, an umbrella, a hockey stick, and he would twirl it. Of training course, his young children wanted to try it, far too, and it seriously trapped with me. It’s been my very first love. It is introduced me to some incredible areas and I have met some wonderful persons by way of this sport.”
Her baton twirling techniques landed Chiariello a showcased spot on the TCU group, doing in entrance of crowds as massive as 70,000.
“I’m in awe to consider that a young Cherokee woman who was told she experienced to have crisis brain surgical treatment, that she may perhaps not get back the techniques she had right before, is now serving as a showcased twirler at a big, D1 Big 12 establishment,” she said. “I am so honored. But I however have a great deal that I want to do. I’m just having commenced.”
Chiariello was at first a pupil at the University of Oklahoma, but was lured to TCU with educational grants and the showcased baton twirler spot.
“I have a big presence on this campus as a Native college student,” she claimed. “TCU does not have a good deal of Indigenous American illustration, but they are making an attempt to get that conversation started. I have been in a position to enable in some of all those initiatives. I serve on TCU’s Race & Reconciliation Initiative committee. I serve as the sole pupil agent on TCU’s Native American Advisory Circle. I’m obtaining to be a aspect of those people conversations about what we want to do to make Native folks come to feel welcomed.”
In the course of the university’s Reconciliation Day this year, Chiariello was invited to read TCU’s Indigenous American land acknowledgement.
“I actually launched myself in Cherokee, and that was a amazing opportunity to showcase Cherokee lifestyle and the beauty of our language,” she stated. “I just take each individual chance to share my tale and serve as an illustration of being a Indigenous scholar at a private institution and what that appears to be like. It is been a fun journey.”
Chiariello was born and raised in Oklahoma Town, but her loved ones traces back again to Welch, Oklahoma, in Craig County. She and her three brothers ended up home-schooled, which available the siblings “a definitely exceptional upbringing,” she reported.
“It permitted us to genuinely have a own relationship with our Cherokee society,” she stated. “It was fantastic and now we’re having to do large issues on collegiate campuses.”
Before this yr – and for the very first time – Chiariello competed for the title of Miss Oklahoma, earning a location in the top 10.
“I spoke Cherokee on the Overlook Oklahoma stage and I gained the On-Stage Job interview Award,” she mentioned. “It was an absolute desire occur legitimate for me to be capable to share that part of my everyday living and be capable to exhibit persons what a modern day, Native American woman seems to be like.”
In the course of the expertise portion of the levels of competition, Chiariello integrated Native dance into her plan.
“So I wore my family’s fancy fringe and I did a Indigenous-motivated baton twirling routine,” she explained.
Subsequent her pageant visual appearance, Chiariello was spotlighted in “Drum Major” journal, a publication she grew up examining.