Thursday, June 23, 2016

From the Depths We Rise

Many of you who have been followers of See Beautiful know the precious Rodriguez Family. The Ellis Cuff is one of our most special cuffs we get to make. It's meaning, "when she wakes she will move mountains" has supported sweet Ellis through medical treatments and doctors visits. Before Ellis, Sarah, her Mom, was one of our See Beautiful Women of the Month. We have learned a lot about seeing beautiful from Sarah over the years. We are thrilled about the launch of her new book full of truth, inspiration, and a little hope for everyone. Without further ado:

New Book Shares Remarkable, Miraculous Story of Heartbreak, Loss, Hope and Redemptive Life

‘From Depths We Rise’ is the true story of Sarah Rodriguez’s journey through infertility and the tragic death of her husband, to the prophetic birth and miraculous survival of her daughter

“God had given us a promise, and my husband was audacious enough to speak it out. Now I was seeing with my very own eyes his belief turning to truth.” –Sarah Rodriguez, From Depths We Rise

Uhrichsville, Ohio (June 2016)—Sarah Rodriguez first made headlines in the summer of 2015 when news of her daughter’s miraculous survival spread past her small town in Oklahoma. Conceived via IVF after her husband passed away, Sarah’s miracle baby, Ellis Claire, contracted bacterial meningitis at two weeks of age, and doctors declared her condition “incompatible with life.” In her upcoming memoir, From Depths We Rise: A Journey of Beauty from Ashes (Shiloh Run Press, October 2016), Rodriguez shares her full story of love, heartbreak, joy, loss, hope, and redemptive life.

Sarah, an Oklahoma native, met her future husband Joel Rodriguez in New York City. After a whirlwind romance, the unlikely couple became inseparable and married, and shortly thereafter moved to Oklahoma with hopes of starting a family of their own. The next four years were filled with false hope, fertility drugs, many false pregnancy tests, and no viable pregnancies. In vitro fertilization was the next step, but with their five-year wedding anniversary approaching, they decided to plan a celebration trip and schedule the first round of IVF after their return home.

Six weeks prior to their trip, Joel noticed something terribly wrong—blood in his urine. A CT scan revealed a large mass on his kidney—a cancerous tumor the size of a football. But after surgery and an intense year of chemotherapy, Joel was given a clean bill of health and the cancer was in remission. Sarah and Joel took their delayed anniversary trip and eagerly began IVF when they returned. Two months and a difficult round of IVF later, Sarah and Joel received the news they waited five years to hear—Sarah was pregnant, and with twins. However, at 11 weeks pregnant, a routine ultrasound revealed only one baby. “From the moment of conception, it was always two babies in my mind. They were separate but they were one, a package deal, each wanted. I had lost one, but it felt as if I had lost them both.”

The next weeks held more good and bad for Joel and Sarah—scans showed that Joel’s cancer returned and spread to his lungs, they were showered with gifts for the baby, and Joel’s biopsy fell the same week as Sarah’s due date. “There we were again, in a delicate dance between sorrow and joy. On one hand our dreams were coming true; on the other hand, our fears were coming true. It was as if our lives were a rip current. Each time we would manage to find our way to the surface, an unseen force was pulling us into the depths over and over again. It was unrelenting and exhausting.”

After the joyful, successful birth of their son Milo, they heard the words they hoped they’d never hear again—the cancer was back. Joel immediately underwent surgery for a chemo port and began treatments. Several months passed and doctors determined additional surgery was needed. While in recovery, Joel suffered an ischemic stroke and Sarah was suddenly faced with the immediate possibility of a life without her husband. Joel survived the surgery to reduce the swelling in his brain as a result of the stroke, which rendered the left side of his body paralyzed. He set out on a long journey toward recovery with Sarah and Milo by his side, but another series of strokes cut his life short, just three weeks before his thirty-sixth birthday.

“I looked at him lying in that bed and realized in an instant I had not only lost my best friend, but my son had lost his father…How do you say good-bye to someone you love so much? I didn’t know.”

But after his passing, Sarah couldn’t shake a conversation she had with Joel, a conversation where he told her she would have another child, and it would be a girl. “Two tiny little embryos left over from our first IVF cycle were in storage mere miles from my home—a piece of my husband and a piece of me. After losing Joel, it was all I could think about. What was I going to do with those embryos? The thought that it was even possible to have another pregnancy after his death was both terrifying and exhilarating.”

With the support of her and Joel’s friends and family, Sarah set out on her second IVF journey, conceiving a baby girl, just as Joel had told her she would. When Ellis contracted bacterial meningitis and Sarah found herself back in the world of hospitals, she had almost lost all hope for a miracle, the miracle she prayed for but didn’t receive for Joel.

In From Depths We Rise, Sarah candidly shares her story—the depths of her pain, weakness and strength of her faith, beauty rising from ashes, and finding purpose in the most painful times of her life. Readers will be encouraged to cling tightly to their faith and rise above even the most daunting of circumstances.

Sarah is available for media interviews. To discuss coverage opportunities, please contact

Sarah Rodriguez is a writer, speaker, and mommy to Milo and Ellis. She was blessed to be married to her husband, Joel, for 8 incredible years. You can find her online at


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