In the warm embrace of summer, a little girl named Hazel Brown from Port Clinton, OH began an unexpected, devastating journey that would test her family’s strength, resilience, and the boundless power of love. It was July 3, 2023, when the world as the Brown family knew it shifted. Hazel had just turned three, yet her path was about to take a twist she and her family could never have imagined.
Before that fateful day in July, Hazel was a vibrant spirit, a little one who loved life’s simplest joys. Her days were filled with laughter while playing with her beloved pups, Riff and Gunther. Ice cream always brought a sparkle to her eyes, and the thrill of hide and seek stirred giggles that could light up any room.
But soon, Hazel’s parents, Leah and Wesley, started to notice subtle changes in their little girl. The vibrant face that once mirrored joy began showing signs of stillness, and an unsteadiness crept in her step.
“We started to notice one side of Hazel’s face had limited movement. It looked sort of frozen in place,” Leah said. “She began to have a hard time walking.”
Alarmed, the couple took Hazel to the hospital where they learned the unimaginable. Doctors’ words hung heavy in the air: diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, or DIPG, an incurable brain tumor. Even as shock and horror rippled through the Brown family, their faith in God and resolve only grew deeper. A spark of determination ignited within Leah and Wesley to help not just Hazel, but other children facing the horrors of DIPG.
“This diagnosis made us stronger despite the ups and downs,” Leah said. “Our faith keeps us going, and it inspired us to create the Facebook group Healing for Hazel.”
Hazel is currently receiving radiation at Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, MI. Leah was forced to quit her job and now the road is a witness to the family’s determination as she, Wesley, and Hazel drive 4 hours a day, 5 days a week for treatment. In spite of the financial burden, the Browns’ are willing to go to any lengths to save their daughter.
While the path remains uncertain, the love and support that surround the Brown family is a testament to the enduring power of community and the unyielding strength within a little girl named Hazel.
To learn more about Hazel, visit Healing for Hazel.