Ceccarelli Rosenberg Foundation

Creating a Legacy of Change In Memory of Aaron M. Rosenberg

About CRF

Why am I doing this?

The Ceccarelli-Rosenberg Foundation – a purpose born out of love and loss. It all began when my husband was diagnosed with AML, merely two months after our wedding on May 1st, 2021. July 27, 2021, marked the start of an unimaginable journey, a true nightmare, for both of us. We fought tirelessly for life, love, our future, and the dreams we cherished. The cancer proved relentless, even defying three powerful chemo treatments. Undeterred, we stood united, facing each challenge as one. Despite losing 65 lbs. in just four months, my husband’s determination remained unyielding. We clung to HOPE, even when the doctors at AdventHealth offered no further options. This remarkable man inspired me not to give up.

During the next few months at Moffitt Cancer Center, the battle intensified. Preparing for a medical trial, he had to endure two more chemo treatments, but the cancer showed no mercy. Three solidified tumors in his neck and armpit rapidly grew to the size of golf balls within a week. Daily challenges included fevers, urgent trips to the ER, and two days in the ICU due to sepsis. Andrea Starnes basically saved his life that day. She is the nurse in the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at AdventHealth.

Words cannot express the pain and desperation we felt. In early December, Moffitt Cancer Center granted him a brief respite from chemo, but even on the drive home, the fever returned, leading us back to AdventHealth’s ER in downtown Orlando. His cancer allowed no breaks.

On Thursday, December 9th, I entered his hospital room to find a profound sadness in his eyes. His only words were, “I called my daughter, and asked her to come, I need to talk to both of you.” That day, he made the heartbreaking decision to start Hospice. I pleaded, clinging to HOPE, but the pain that began in July proved insurmountable. Exhausted and weighing only 128 lbs., he believed his body could not endure another chemo treatment. I couldn’t fathom a future without him.

Throughout his final days, I showered him with love, kissing him daily. I would lay by his side, seeking comfort in the rhythm of his heartbeat. He signed the hospice papers on Friday, and I brought him home on Saturday. On Sunday evening, Andrea Conway from Hospice provided support and guidance as my husband’s consciousness waned.

The lowest point in this ordeal came on Tuesday morning, a mere three days after hospice began. Seeing him struggle to swallow food, I rushed to his bedside with liquids, but Andrea gently told me holding my hand: “HE DOESN’T NEED TO DRINK WATER ANYMORE.” My world shattered; I had cared for him like my own child, nurturing, cleaning, and holding him close. And now, it all ended abruptly.

On Sunday, December 19th, at 3:48 AM, he passed away. My sister’s arrival the previous evening gave him peace knowing I wouldn’t be alone in the days ahead.

Why am I doing this? His priority was my well-being, ensuring I’d be okay in ALL aspects of life, without worrying about our home or the life we built together in the last two and a half years.

One day, he asked me, “Have you thought about what you’ll do after I pass?” He knew my passion for helping others, especially children in need, and my dream of establishing a dog rescue called Queen’s Ranch. We spoke about these dreams many times, and I told him that, thanks to him, I could finally make them a reality and dedicate my life to these causes. His emotional response reaffirmed that I’ll forever be Pia Ceccarelli-Rosenberg, honoring his last name.

This is for you, baby, and I know you’re watching from above. I love you, and every ounce of love I have for you fuels my efforts to help people in the community. I miss you deeply.

Pia