Nicole Hazen, wife of Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen, has died at the age of 45.
The mother of four boys, who’d been battling an aggressive brain cancer for more than two years, died Thursday due to complications related to the disease.
Shortly after her death, the Diamondbacks, the Phoenix, Arizona-based MLB team, shared a statement from the Hazens on Twitter.
"Nicole lived her life and loved her family with fierceness and devotion," the message read. "She spent every day in the service of others as a mother, wife and educator advocating for goodness. From our family, we remain forever grateful for the love, support and random acts of kindness bestowed upon us for the last two years and four months. We would not have been able to walk down this road, with her, without the help and generosity of our community."
Hazen was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a fast-growing and incurable brain tumor, in 2020.
"It’s a malignant brain cancer. That means it comes from a cell in the brain and it never really leaves the brain," Dr. John Boockvar, vice chair of neurosurgery and director of the Brain Tumor Center at Lenox Hill Hospital, previously told TODAY. "It stays in the brain, but it spreads throughout the brain, and that’s what makes it universally lethal. So it’s an incurable brain cancer."
In the statement from Hazen's family, they explained, "Glioblastoma slowly took her capacity to speak, walk, talk and lead but never took her capacity to love her children, family and friends. We are lost without her but will carry the torch of her unyielding empathy for everyone forward, from this day onward."
Following her diagnosis, she established the Nicole Hazen Fund For Hope, with the stated goal of offering "more patients with aggressive brain tumors access to rapid, state-of-the-art treatment as well as compassionate support throughout the entire journey." The nonprofit will continue in her memory.
Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick and president Derrick Hall also released a statement Thursday.
“Nicole was a beloved member of the D-Backs’ family, and we are saddened by her passing,” they wrote. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Mike, (their sons) Charlie, John, Teddy, Sam and their entire extended family. Nicole will be remembered for her vibrance, kindness, and a beautiful smile that could light up a room. Her fighting spirit was evident in every step of her courageous journey and in her efforts to make an impact on research and treatment, while providing future hope to those who receive a similar diagnosis. She will forever be remembered and honored.”