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Zoe Hazlett learns she’s a second-time survivor

Zoe Hazlett: "When you're going through something that's so hard all the time, and then all of a sudden you get really happy, you don't forget how happy that was."
MinnPost photo by Jim Walsh
Zoe Hazlett: “When you’re going through something that’s so hard all the time, and then all of a sudden you get really happy, you don’t forget how happy that was.”

Fifteen-year-old Zoe Hazlett got some good news last week: She’s cancer-free.

It was the first piece of good news that Zoe and her mother, Sang, have had in quite a while, given that the lymphoma Zoe just beat was discovered upon her visit to the emergency room on June 18, after she barely survived a traffic accident that took the lives of her father, Buck (nee Bart) Hazlett, her brother Roan, 9, and her sister Olivia, 11.

“It’s good, I feel good,” said Zoe last Friday afternoon, her big smile exploding out of her beautiful round face in the family room of her and her mom’s home in St. Anthony Village, where Sang home schools Zoe. The living room is filled with musical instruments, including vintage electric and acoustic guitars, and her dad’s drum kit.

“I did six chemo rounds,” said Zoe, “each about five days long, one every two or three weeks.”

Buoyed by visit from Humphries and Kardashian
After the accident, Zoe was laid up at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis, recovering from breaks, bruises, and the deaths of her father, sister, and brother. Buoying her spirits over the Fourth of July weekend was a visit from Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries, the ill-fated lovers of reality TV and NBA fame.

Humphries is old friends with the Hazlett family, and when the former Hopkins high school basketball star told his much-flagellated then-fiancée about Zoe, the 31-year-old Kardashian, who lost her father to throat-cancer in 2003, said she wanted to do something to help.

“I was in bed, and my aunt kept telling me it might happen, and it was a big thing. It was a secret surprise, and I didn’t believe it at first. I was just like, ‘OK, yeah,’ ” said Zoe, who describes her feelings about Kardashian and her show prior to meeting the socialite as “neutral, not against or for her; not a superfan but I like her.”

“So then she just walked in and said, ‘Hi, I’m Kim.’ My jaw just dropped to the floor, I was so surprised. She was really nice. She asked a lot of questions. She also lost her dad, and she talked to me about that and had some book suggestions for things I might want to read that might help about what happened.

“It was exciting,” she said, briefly stopping to cry. “In a way, I don’t really totally remember everything. But she had just gotten proposed to, and so she had her giant ring, and she let me try it on, and it was really fun.”

Story told on blog
Shortly after the couple left the hospital, Kardashian told Zoe’s story on her blog, concluding, “A Hazlett Family Memorial Fund has been set up in honor of the family to help Zoe and the remaining family members with all the expenses for Zoe’s treatment. Please, please help Zoe and her family by clicking here.

Jude and Buck Hazlett in a March 2011 photo.
MinnPost photo by Jim Walsh
Jude and Buck Hazlett in a March 2011 photo.

“Zoe, you are one of the bravest, strongest people I have ever met, and I will keep you in my prayers during this incredibly tough time! Xo Kim.”

Four months later, Zoe and Sang were two of the millions of viewers to watch the Kim and Kris wedding, with Kardashian’s vows including, “I so wish my dad could be here today to walk me down the aisle. But I know in a way he is here, and I feel his loving presence all around me. I love and miss you, dad.”

For the record, Zoe’s now a fan.

‘What she did made me really happy’
“She wasn’t in the hospital room for super long. Fifteen minutes or a half an hour,” she said. “I just think for her to go out of her way to do that was nice. I know there’s been a lot of talk about her lately and stuff, but what she did for me, I guess, that will never change. That was really nice. I really appreciated it.

“I’ve grown up with that whole belief to embrace people and to treat people how you want to be treated. People shouldn’t judge people before they know them. I mean, I haven’t known her for super, super long. But what she did made me really happy. When you’re going through something that’s so hard all the time, and then all of a sudden you get really happy, you don’t forget how happy that was.”

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