Hazel Anne Sievers (2011-2014)
Hazel Anne Sievers was born April 9, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. Her birth brought us so much joy and made us a family. Hazel was a bright-eyed, spirited baby who loved to take in all that the world had to offer. After she began vomiting at 4 months of age, we tried to find an effective treatment for what every medical professional thought was reflux. Tragically, when Hazel was just six months old, we learned that she had a malignant Ependymoma brain tumor. Hazel was treated at Children’s Hospital Colorado. After surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation, Hazel had to relearn most everything she had learned as an infant; vocalizing, using her hands, eating, crawling, and sitting up, but she never lost her fighting spirit or her zest for getting out of the house and seeing the world. Hazel enjoyed just a few months cancer free before the cancer returned in her spine and then again in her brain. Despite living with a massive tumor in her spine, Hazel continued to live each day with determination and never lost her desire to see more of the world. She always enjoyed camping, hiking, trips to the zoo and aquarium, but she especially loved the peaceful serenity of the botanic gardens, spending her time there carefully studying the bees and the flowers. Hazel loved seeing the world from the vantage point of a hiking backpacking or through the windows of our van on a road trip. Almost every day Hazel loved to “Go!” which was her favorite word. Although Hazel’s treatments limited her ability to speak, she communicated effectively through sign language. On quieter days, she loved to draw, watch the gentle lessons of “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” and listen to music. Hazel taught us so much about life, most importantly that we should never take any day for granted, that we should always put aside our excuses and “Go!” Hazel’s determination continues to inspire her friends, family, and even complete strangers through the #HazelSaysGo! Campaign. Hazel lost her courageous battle on August 4, 2014.