HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA.com) — A local mother has vowed to fight for her 2-year-old daughter who suffers from a deadly form of childhood cancer called neuroblastoma.
Doctors discovered a fast-growing tumor the size of a lime in the abdomen of Hazel Hammersley back in April.
Since then, the toddler has endured five rounds of chemotherapy and has a surgery scheduled later this month at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
"When they started going through treatment, and how hard it's going to be, and the long-term side effects, it just was so daunting and so horrible," said Hazel's mother, Lauren.
The mother has been by Hazel's side since the beginning; she left her three other children, including Hazel's baby brother, in the care of her husband and family.
"Even though she's done so well, there are still moments where I see my daughter has cancer, and I see that she's not her normal self, and it's really hard," said Lauren.
Hazel's doctors said she's responding better than expected to treatment.
"She has a more than 50 percent chance of surviving and defeating this cancer," said Dr. Hung Tran, a pediatric oncologist at Children's Hospital, which is one of the beneficiaries of ThinkCure!, a nonprofit run by the Los Angeles Dodgers that strives for a cure for adult and childhood cancer.
"ThinkCure! is tremendously important. It's important both for support of the hospital, as well as support for the research," said Tran.
Hazel's journey will be long, but Lauren said she's up for it.
"I just can't wait for those moments where we get to go and be out in the real world…outside of the glass with our friends and family…and not take any moments for granted anymore," she said.
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