The woman who led Glendora’s hyperlocal Patch news website for nearly three years died recently after a battle with cancer.
Hazel Lodevico-To’o, 36, passed away after having been re-administered to a hospital in Arizona the past week for what was initially expected to be a routine outpatient procedure. She was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer December 10, 2015.
Lodevico-To’o leaves behind a husband, Isaac and nearly 3-year-old daughter, Isabella.
Lodevico-To’o was the Local Editor for the website Glendora Patch when it launched in December of 2010 until she left for maternity leave in October of 2013, at which time she was also Local Editor of Altadena’s Patch website.
Lodevico-To’o would often be seen around town, many times working at Classic Coffee in the Glendora Village.
While with Patch, Lodevico-To’o lived in San Dimas. After AOL sold majority shares in the company and laid off about 85 percent of the writing staff in January of 2014, she and her family moved to Gilbert Arizona. She was working as a communications specialist in Chandler.
Soon after her diagnosis, Lodevico-To’o publicly revealed that she was facing an uphill battle with cancer, which had spread.
“I never smoked a cigarette in my life. I’ve generally been healthy. Before my cough got worse, I was training for a marathon,” Lodevico-To’o revealed on her gofundme page, established to aid in paying her medical costs. “This particular one I have is an extremely rare form that seems to target non-smoking Asian women … I was being treated for a really bad bout of pneumonia or a bad lung infection. I believed some meds and rest would make everything better again, the assumption of a long future ahead perfectly intact.”
Lodevico-To’o had been receiving chemotherapy, which initially showed positive signs the cancer was shrinking, according to her blog she published detailing her battle.
Born May 6, 1980, Lodevico-To’o aspired to be a writer, despite her family’s wishes for her to become a nurse. The Riverside native knew that writing was her calling when she became the editor of her high school newspaper, she told reporter Natasha Zouves in a March 12, 2011 article for the Asian American Journalists Association.
After earning a Bachelor degree from Humboldt State in 2003, Lodevico-To’o went on to write for the San Gabriel Valley Tribune and OC Register. She was also news editor of the Apache Junction/Gold Canyon Independent newspaper in Arizona and the managing editor of Thirteen Minutes, an Asian American fashion and lifestyle magazine, according to a bio she wrote for Glendora Patch.
Lodevico-To’o also earned a Masters in journalism and mass communications from Cal State Fullerton in 2009.
Having been raised Catholic, Lodevico-To’o’s faith guided her through what her family called “the battle of her life.” Despite the grim reality, she took comfort in the fact that she was the master of her fate.
“Being a faithful person in God, prayer has been comforting. The message I hear is not that simply because I believe I’m saved,” Lodevico-To’o wrote on her gofundme page. “The message I hear is that I’m the writer of my own story. I write how this story ends.”
Lodevico-To’o’s family could not immediately be reached for comment.