Mariah Roat chose to live her life with joy
Mariah Roat will not finish college or realize her dream of a career in Marketing. She won’t be moving to San Diego like she planned and she will never be a mom.
The Cloverdale High School grad died Tuesday night, just 10 months after being diagnosed with metastatic stage 4 colon cancer that had spread to her stomach, liver and ovary. She was 23.
It seems life did not always treat her fairly. Her own mom died from breast cancer when Mariah was 8. Her dad died after a long illness just two months after she turned 19.
Through it all, she remained positive, happy and upbeat. Her brother Chris Boblitt says she was a creative free spirit who was always smiling. “Even as a small child, she was incredibly happy and she stayed that way right to the end.”
Within three days of her unexpected diagnosis last October, friends organized a raffle that raised nearly $1,500 in only seven hours. Still others put on a Round Robin-style football tournament at Cloverdale’s City Park and another started a GoFundMe page that ultimately raised nearly $28k.
Her co-workers at La Rosa Tequileria & Grille in Santa Rosa recruited live bands and put on fundraising events for her. Bartender Ned Sheppa says “I’ve never met someone so insanely, naturally happy at every moment. She smiled and it lit up the room. All of Sonoma County came together for her and it was beautiful to watch.”
Michelle Hall worked with her at Papa’s Pizza in Cloverdale. She recalls the fun they had tubing down the river and remembers her as a beautiful, kind and positive person.
“We had been trying to make plans to see each other and catch up,” said Hall, “but something else always came up. This is a tough lesson to learn. Do not let life get in the way of things that are more important. Hug your loved ones and make sure you make time for the things that are important. Family and friends should always take priority.”
In addition to her siblings Augie Roat, Dustin Roat, Rocky Roat, Vanessa Roat and Chris Boblitt, Mariah is survived by numerous family members and legions of friends, as well as her beloved dog, Cota.
Funeral arrangements are pending.