Carried to Connect: Hazel’s Story

For Childhood Cancer Awareness month, we want to honor the families facing the difficult journey of childhood cancer and #GoGold to raise awareness. We’re connecting with real families on this difficult journey, who have found babywearing helpful during their fight against cancer and sharing their stories on our blog. Today, Lynn shares her daughter, Hazel’s, story. Continue reading to also learn how we are supporting childhood cancer awareness with our fully printed Tula Baby Carrier, ‘Beacon’.

After Hazel’s 9 month old routine baby well checkup resulted with an abnormal anemia blood test, we headed to Rady’s Children’s Hospital to get a compete blood test done.  On August 3, 2015 We were called almost immediately to report back to Rady’s to the hematology/oncology floor. Hazel had extremely low platelets, low hemoglobin and blasts in her blood all signs that lead to a leukemia diagnosis.  It wasn’t until August 13 that Hazel was diagnosed with AML, acute myeloid leukemia. 

Hazel is our younger of two daughters and I have owned my grey zig zag Tula Baby Carrier since my older daughter was 8 months old.  Having a toddler running around and a baby meant much more babywearing! Hazel always ran on the bigger side which was great because I was very comfortable putting her in my Tula at an early age and she enjoyed being in there. 

After Hazel’s diagnosis, we spent two months in the hospital from August through October with a one week break at home. Hazel underwent two rounds of heavy chemotherapy. On her worst days she was tucked in tight in our Tula as I held her, rocked her, and kept her close to my heart.  She couldn’t yet walk so I would carry her in the hallway and the children’s garden for a change of scenery. Many nights she would not fall asleep unless I walked the halls with her in our Tula. To entertain her, my husband would put her in the Tula and ride the oversized tricycle around in the Children’s Hospital garden with her, while dragging an IV pole around.

In November 2015, after another high dose chemo regime Hazel underwent a bone marrow transplant, it was supposed to be the best way to get rid of her cancer for good. Everything went as well as it could and we were home in time for Christmas. Unfortunately, in January of 2016, we were told her Leukemia had returned. Since then most of her treatment has been in clinic with a few overnight stays as they are trying to get her back into remission with the least amount of toxicity. That means we are back and forth a lot to the hospital and clinic and now Hazel is 22 months old and is bigger so she is now into the toddler sized carrier. She has a voice and an opinion which is often “hold me” and “mommy’s milk time”, both of which the Tula can and does help me with.  Once in remission Hazel will undergo a second bone marrow transplant in hopes that this time it will work and she can live a long cancer free life.

Since Hazel’s immune system is very low due to treatments we cannot go many places that ordinary toddlers can go. If I need to run an errand and have no option but to have Hazel with me she goes in our Tula, facing me with a mask on for the least risky option of her acquiring germs. We fortunately have been able to sneak to the zoo a few times but again Hazel cannot walk around or touch anything so into the Tula she goes to be safest from germs, mold, bacteria, etc and has a perfect view of seeing the animals.

Our Tula got us through very hard times and we have also celebrated many happy times in it as well.  We are thankful to have such a comfortable, well made carrier that keeps Hazel safe and protected in  

Thank you to Lynn and her family for sharing Hazel’s story! We hope you will join us this month and #GoGold to help conquer Childhood Cancers. For every ‘Beacon’ Tula carrier sold, we will donate 10% of proceeds to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation so they can continue funding the fight against childhood cancers. Help by donating directly to St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

‘Beacon’ expresses the connected love, care and hope that surrounds each child and family facing cancer: each element coming together to offer strength and support. ‘Beacon’s’ geometric pattern, in a bright yellow gold color, covers the body panel, waistband, and shoulders straps. ‘Beacon’ is lined with light gray canvas and comes with a light gray hood.

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