Makenzie Hazelton's family 'overwhelmed' with support from Cowra community

Makenize Hazelton has faced a lengthy battle with cancer. Photo: Facebook

Makenize Hazelton has faced a lengthy battle with cancer. Photo: Facebook

The Hazelton family say they are 'overwhelmed' by the support of the local community after tens of thousands of dollars were raised by a number of recent donation drives.

Around $70,000 has been raised for the family by the combined efforts of a Go Fund Me fundraiser and a lamb drive organised by Cowra's stock and station agents.

Daniel Hazelton said the family was very appreciative of the community's support following their relocation to Sydney while his daughter Makenzie receives treatment for cancer.

"We definitely weren't expecting anything like what both the Go Fund Me page and lamb drive's done, overwhelming is the word," he said.

"It's a big relief right here at the moment, just something else less to worry about."

In particular, Mr Hazelton highlighted the efforts of Rory Brien, Sam Ryan, Jack Harper and Margaret Sheppard who put the lamb drive fundraiser together.

"We're just so appreciative of Rory Brien getting the ball rolling on that, Sam Ryan having the conversation with him from Mulyan [Public School]... we know that Jack Harper and Margaret Sheppard, they were a big force behind the whole lamb drive," he said.

"With the businesses and everyone that has donated, and the farmers that donated stock, everyone's just come through off the back of a drought and COVID, we know everyone's been doing it a bit financially hard."

Mr Hazelton also thanked the Mulyan Public School community, who are holding an online silent auction to raise funds for the family.

"They've done a lot for us right from the start, they've been real supportive," he said.

"It's not forgotten."

After being first diagnosed with T-cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma at age six in August 2019, Makenzie underwent 10 months of aggressive treatment Westmead Children's Hospital and was eventually able to return to Cowra and her kindergarten class at Mulyan Public School.

However in May this year, the family were dealt a devastating blow when it was discovered her cancer had returned and spread to her brain.

Mr Hazelton said the next stage of Makenzie's treatment is a bone marrow transplant.

"She's just had a few pretty serious infections and we're three months behind now, and at the moment it looks like we will be pushed back another six weeks, we're just waiting to get confirmation of that this week," he said.

"She's just not quite well enough to go through that [bone marrow transplant] so and then once we get to there, it's a minimum of three months in isolation and recovery after that so we've pretty much got another five to six months here after she starts the transplant."

On top of that, the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented visitations.

"We've had no visitors or anything for the past six months, we haven't seen anyone," Mr Hazelton said.

"At the start, we could get some permission for her brothers to come on the ward for a little bit and then when the state went into lockdown, her brothers couldn't even come to the ward to see her. It's only been the past two weekends and she gets a couple of hours each weekend to see them and that's it.

"They go to school here at the hospital and they are literally in the ward below us, one level down and they still can't pop up to see her.

"Being so far away from home, it's a bit daunting, just a bit stressful and draining.

"It just adds to what is going on but you've got to get through it."

Despite the ups and downs, Mr Hazelton said Makenzie has been a fighter.

"Hopefully things get back on track soon but she's well in herself," he said.

"She's doing good, she knows what she's got to go through and she just deals with it, kids are pretty resilient."

Mr Hazelton said the financial support will assist the family going into the future.

"If everything goes successful for her, she's got a fair bit that will happen in the future with the extensive chemo and radiation, it's going to affect her learning and her hearing and her sight," he said.

"It's just good to know that we've got something to fall back on to get her caught up again when she's well enough.

"The support that we've got financially has just been huge, not only that but people's messages and the support has just been a big help as well."

If you would like to donate to the family, visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/Help-Makenzie-Hazelton-beat-cancer

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This story Hazelton family 'overwhelmed' with support from Cowra community first appeared on Cowra Guardian.