Thank you for supporting me and the more than 300,000 kids worldwide who will be diagnosed with cancer this year. By sharing the gifts of your time, talent and money with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, you're supporting research to give all kids with cancer a better chance for a cure.
We were blessed when our sweet daughter Hazel Anne came into our lives April 9, 2011. We felt there was something terribly wrong when she became very inconsolable and then lethargic November 6, and we took Hazel to urgent care. Within three hours, we learned the truth- that the symptoms that many doctors had attributed to common reflux were actually the result of a tumor increasing the pressure in her brain. On November 9, she underwent 6 hour surgery at Children's Hospital Colorado to remove the tumor. Following the surgery, we received her diagnosis: Ependymoma Grade III, or Anaplastic Ependymoma.
After four rounds of chemootherapy, another resection, and six weeks of radiation therapy, Hazel was tumor free and loving life as a happy and curious toddler.
In January 2013, after showing new and troubling symptoms, Hazel was diagnosed with a metastatic recurrence. Sadly, there is no cure for metastatic Ependymoma. Radiation therapy was able control the pain from a massive tumor in her spine.
Despite Hazel's tragic prognosis, she continued to live life with zest and enthusiasm. Like many other toddlers, Hazel loved to get out of the house and explore the world around her. She loved watching the bees on the flowers at the botanic gardens, talking to the animals at the zoo, and exploring Colorado from the comfort of a backpack on hikes. Hazel was a gentle, loving person who quietly made an impression of every person she met. On August 4, 2014, Hazel passed away peacefully at the age of 3.