July 15, 2013
Photos Courtesy of Lauren Hammersley & Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
On April 21, 2013, Hazel was diagnosed with a high-risk, stage 3 neuroblastoma tumor in her abdomen. Hazel, affectionately known as “Hazelnut,” will require a year-and-a-half hospital treatment.
Hazel and her mom, Lauren, stay at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles during her treatments. “We are taken care of here, but you know, after a while, you get a little stir-crazy,” Lauren told HuffPost. To pass the time, they take walks, color, play with Play-Doh, dress up…
On the Fourth of July, Hazel was admitted to the hospital with a fever. Lauren’s mom, Hazel’s grandma, was visiting and told the toddler about a funny sign someone put in the window of her hospital room when she was a girl. Hazel wanted a sign too. And so, Mom and Grandma made her one.
The sign was up on the window for several days, Lauren says. Then, on Saturday, everything changed…
A man drove by the hospital, and this is what he saw. He posted a photo on Reddit with the caption: “Photo taken outside Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. Smart kid.”
One Reddit user took up the cause, saying “No need to fear! Pizza Delivery will soon be here!”
More Reddit users sent pizzas — over 20 pies arrived.
Due to the number of deliveries, the hospital had to request that people stop sending pizza.
But Lauren and the entire Hammersley family hope that Hazel’s story helps spread awareness of childhood cancer. “We can use this opportunity to let people know that not enough research goes into how to treat our kids,” she says.
Hazel has responded well to treatment, so far. “She is going to get through this journey. She is going to be strong and healthy at the end of it,” Lauren says. “We don’t take time for granted. We have four kids, 6 and under. [With little kids who] require attention, you forget to savor the little things. We’ve learned to take every moment and savor it and not wait to say things.”
You can visit the Hammersley family’s blog at http://www.ourlittlehazelnut.blogspot.com/
You are a beautiful little girl, and I hope you enjoyed your pizza party.
You might only be 2 years old, but your smile brought a lot of
strangers together. You gave them smiles back.
Be well, little child, be well.
May your long life be filled with
rainbows and good health, pizza and smiles.
And love…always love.