photograph by: Tiffany Crenshaw (2019)

As the Calderon household blasts the Mamma Mia Soundtrack, superstar Ariana Calderon can be found singing along to every word, and never missing a beat as she competes in a dance-off led by her dad. Ariana also loves to cook, play with Barbies, color and read.

She is an eager child who is ready to learn everything she possibly can. She wants to be a teacher’s aide when she grows up thanks to her current aide, Ms. Hartley, who always encourages Ariana to try her hardest.

Ariana was diagnosed with AVSD tetralogy of fallot (TOF) and Down syndrome but nothing slows down this sassy 5-year-old. From having multiple surgeries to learning how to walk, Ariana is a warrior, always ready to work hard and conquer any challenge that she faces.

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Family Connection of South Carolina provides services and resources to families who have a child with a disability or specialized healthcare need. Since 1990 we have served more than 100,000 families and today our services are needed more than ever. We focus on parent-to-parent support, guidance with navigating the complex healthcare system, and assistance with school meetings and special education plans.

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