NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The father of a middle school student who died from an illness wants to thank the community for their support.
Silam Binave said, "She was a very lovely person. She was always friendly, she always had a smile on her face all the time. She was happy all the time."
'A bright light,' that's how Ariana Binave was described by her father.
Binave said, "She was just like sunshine all the time. Even when it was dark. She was sunshine."
The pain of losing a child is unbearable for him.
According to a statement from Metro Schools, she was well liked by her classmates at Oliver Middle School.
The 13-year-old loved spending time with her family.
Binave said, "Just love each other please. Life is too short."
Last Sunday Ariana had a throat ache so she went to the doctor and was given medicine.
On Monday, she took a turn for the worse and her dad rushed her to the Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.
Binave said, "After they did all the tests, exams, x-rays, they said she had pneumonia and the flu."
She fought the illness for 5 days before she passed away Saturday.
Binave said, "Despite all the treatment she got, she couldn't make it."
Even in his mourning, he said he's thankful for the outpouring of love he's received from the Nashville community.
Binave said, "It means a lot to me."
He knows her classmates are grieving, and he wants them to know that it will be okay.
Binave said, "Just take care of yourself. Just because it happened to my daughter, doesn't mean it's going to happen to everybody. Just be careful."
After suffering this terrible loss, his advice to parents is to make every moment count.
Binave said, "Never miss any moment from your child and follow them. Support them, love them, hug them, kiss them."
Ariana was laid to rest Sunday night.
If you would like to help the family during this time, the Parent Teacher's Association has set up a fundraising account.