Aria was born and raised in Victoria, BC. She’s 25 years old, and is attending Camosun College to one day become a surgeon. When Aria was 13 she began having fainting episodes that lasted all through her teens. At 20, she got a job as a receptionist at a cardiology office, where someone recognized that her fainting may indicate a heart problem. She then learned that she has AV 2nd degree Mobitz type 2, a problem involving the heart’s electrical conduction system. Her odds of heart failure and heart attack are increased with this condition. Aria leads her life as normally as possible. With the knowledge of her condition, she tries to live each day fully. She says she feels motivated to take more risks and live more actively because she knows life is short. Aria is half Guatemalan, and describes her mom’s side of the family having parties every year celebrating The Day of the Dead. In this tradition, the dead are celebrated with food, drinks, and festivities. We spoke of ancestry, and the way her culture believes our ancestors continue working with us long after they’ve died.
When asked about family, Aria had this to say: “Enjoy and cherish everybody for exactly who they are….there’s just no point in having riffs or stupid little arguments…what is the point even?…be accepting and forgiving…These are people that have known you since you were a small person and watched you through your changes…they see you for who you are and your journey and they’re the people that are there for you.”