Meet Hazley’s Family

written by Hazley’s mother, Tammy

We are a happy, busy family of five! Jaxton is almost 6, Maverick is almost 4 and Hazley is 2.5 years old. On Thursday, March 19th, 2020, when Hazley was 17 months old, my husband felt a large lump on the side of her stomach when picking her up. Concerned, I immediately messaged our primary doctor a picture and explanation of the lump.

Hazley Willms TumorUnfortunately, he didn’t get back to us until Friday afternoon, but he said he would meet us at the clinic on Saturday to see the lump for himself. After her appointment with the doctor, he ordered labs and an ultrasound for Monday, March 23rd, 2020. With the COVID restrictions only I was able to attend the ultrasound with Hazley, which was so hard going alone!

The minute the tech started the ultrasound I immediately saw a large ball-like figure and knew that wasn’t supposed to be there. About 2 hours after her ultrasound, our primary doctor called us with the news that changed our lives forever… Hazley had an 8cm mass connected to her right kidney.

Our doctor informed us he already began working with the Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis, and based on the ultrasound, they believed the mass was a Wilms Tumor, a type of Kidney Cancer. The children’s hospital wanted to see us Tuesday, March 24th, 2020 for more labs and a CT scan. Hazley handled all of these appointments like a true warrior! We were amazed by her strength already!

Hazley and brothers kidney cancer treatmentHazley Kidney Cancer TreatmentOne of the solid tumor doctors met with us and stated they plan to admit Hazley to the cancer unit for surgery to remove the tumor on Wednesday, March 25th, 2020. Everything happened so quickly I barely had time to process what was happening to our baby girl. Overall, the surgery went well, and the doctor was able to successfully remove the tumor with no spillage. It took her until Monday, March 30th to recover enough for us to go home.

Right as we were packing up the doctor informed us that the pathology report was back for her tumor. Hazley’s tumor was stage 2 diffused anaplastic Wilms Tumor. We were informed that Anaplastic Wilms is rare, and she will have to receive aggressive chemotherapy and 6 rounds of radiation. The good news was we seemed to have caught it early enough that it didn’t spread.

Hazley and brothers - chemo and radiation for kidney cancer willms tumorHazley began her first day of chemotherapy on April 7th and 1st treatment of radiation on April 8th. She received 30 weeks of chemotherapy and handled it better than we ever anticipated. Of course, we had our ups and downs. She was also hospitalized a handful of times for fevers and infections, but Hazley never lost her cheesy smile.

Hazley last day of chemo for willms tumorWith Hazley’s diagnosis, she is at higher risk for relapse, so they also completed CT scans, ultrasounds, and X-rays throughout her treatment to ensure there was no evidence of relapse. She will continue to receive scans every 3 months for at least the first year post-treatment.

Hazley had her last dose of chemo on October 28th, 2020. We were able to celebrate with her grandparents and brothers when we got home. It was a day filled with so many emotions. Since her last dose, she has been able to enjoy being a kid again, and we are able to enjoy our time as a family. Even though the future is unknown, we have no doubt our warrior will continue to fight and we will be by her side every step of the way!

Kidney Cancer family Willms TumorHearts of Hope Network is here to help Hazley’s family. Because of generous donations and support, we have sent Tony’s Hugs packages to each member of this family and are here to help throughout their journey.

Here at Hearts of Hope Network, every case is different and unique in its own way. We want to always be here to stand with these families in their time of need and beyond. Every donation goes toward supporting these families, and every donor is a part of showing these families that they are NOT alone. 

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If you are caring for a critically ill child, we want to be with you in your time of need. Click here to apply for aid.

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