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10-year-old La Mirada girl's brave battle with breast cancer

June 3, 2009 | 10:38 am

10 Year Old Girl Battles Breast Cancer

Hannah Powell-Auslam is 10 years old and battling breast cancer.

Doctors say it's incredibly rare for a girl her age to suffer from the disease, and her plight has garnered attention both in her hometown of La Mirada and across the nation.

In an interview with The Times, her father described the difficult task of telling his daughter about the diagnosis. He said he sat her down in April and said gently: “Hannah, you have breast cancer.” Tears instantly appeared in Hannah’s brown eyes. Words like “breast” and “cancer” are scary and clunky -- foreign among her friends and classmates.

 “Will I die?” she asked.

 “People can die from breast cancer,” he continued, “but you’re not going to be one of them.”

Hannah had a single mastectomy and is now undergoing chemotherapy. Her father said it’s remarkable how brave she’s been through the operation and treatments.

“I’m OK with having chemo and losing my hair,” she said. “ I’m fine with it.”

Her father said the family has been blessed by a huge amount of support from friends and strangers who have held fundraisers, dropped off meals and toys and offered their love.

 -- Corina Knoll

(Knoll is working on a long-term story about Hannah’s journey through cancer treatment, which will run in the coming week).

Photo: KTLA