EAST HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA.com) — A brave little girl who battled a rare form of cancer returned to the hospital Wednesday to spread joy to young patients.
Hazel Hammersley, 4, returned to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in East Hollywood and roamed the same halls that she once did when she was fighting for her life two years ago.
Hazel had been diagnosed with stage 3 neuroblastoma, an aggressive and rare form of cancer in April 2013.
“It’s so nice to see her in a different place being here because for so long it was a bald head bopping around and sometimes not even being able to get out of bed,” said Lauren Hammersley, Hazel’s mother.
Today, Hazel, her mom and her grandma took handmade Christmas ornaments to cancer patients receiving chemotherapy and spending the holidays in the hospital just as Hazel had two years ago.
“Just a beautiful dress. Oh, my gosh, and her cute little heels. And how she has the color back,” said Ilse Blanda, who has a 4-year-old daughter named Lucy who is fighting the same type of cancer Hazel beat.
Hazel’s presence brought tears of happiness to Blanda.
“It gives me hope. It makes me so happy. It makes me stronger and it helps me not to give up,” she said.
Hazel’s mom not only wanted to give the family hope, she wanted to offer support if they needed it.
“Like the family I talked to doesn’t even really know anybody else whose been through what they’re going through and we found out that we live in the same town,” she said.
Attached to the ornament is a photograph of Hazel when she had lost her curly hair in treatment and a typed message of what she endured.
“She completed 15 months of grueling treatment, which included six courses of chemotherapy, a nine-hour tumor resection surgery, a stem-cell transplant, 20 doses of radiation,” her mother said.
Because it’s flu season, children aren’t allowed on the oncology floor, so Hazel wasn’t able to hand deliver all of her ornaments, but the hospital will make sure that every cancer patient gets one.
An online fundraising site has been created by Hazel’s family to raise funds for neuroblastoma research. For more information, click here.