Backpack stolen from 13-year-old Oakland girl during trip to hospital for surgery

UPDATE: Just days after a 13-year-old Oakland girl had her backpack stolen during a trip to the hospital for surgery, a stranger has reached out to help. 


A 13-year-old Oakland girl preparing for life-saving surgery was victimized by thieves on her way to the hospital.

Jazz Hardrict said they stole her backpack which contained items she relies on to connect with her peers and her teachers.

She said this is yet another challenge during a difficult time.    

 "When my heart beats, it's kind of beating fast. It'll start throbbing," Jazz said from her  hospital bed at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland as she described the pain she's experiencing as she is waiting for bone marrow transplant surgery in her fight against sickle cell anemia. 

That pain is compounded by the theft of her backpack that had an iPad and Chromebook she needs for her school work.

"It's so unfair.  It's not OK," said Jazz. 

 On Sunday around 5:30 p.m., the black Jeep belonging to Jazz's grandmother, Jan Hunter, was burglarized while parked in a lot behind the Grand Lake Theater. 

The seventh grader's backpack was taken.  Hunter said they had stopped to pick up some items for Jazz on their way to the hospital when the break-in happened.

 "There was glass everywhere," said Hunter, "She just broke down crying.  I just held her.  I was pretty angry."

MORE: Children's Hospital in Oakland receives $17M to study sickle cell

The backpack is described as being green and pink with a shiny finish.   

Jazz showed KTVU stock photos of what the electronics taken looked like:  a gray-colored iPad and a black Acer Chromebook issued by her school.

She said she needs them to communicate with her teachers and  classmates, "My reading books, my pencils, my papers. Everything I need to be in the hospital is gone." 

 Hunter said her granddaughter has a compromised immune system so she hasn't been able to attend school in person  since January

Her electronics are her connection to her peers and the outside world.

 "Her journey is rough enough. To lose all of her little items is unfair and sad," said Hunter. 

 Her grandmother shared cell phone video of Jazz during physical therapy Tuesday afternoon.

It shows a girl overcoming challenges with an upbeat attitude, determination and resilience. 

"Please give my stuff back.  I need it.  I'm in the hospital for a long time," said Jazz.

She is expected to be in the hospital for two months.

Her bone marrow transplant surgery is scheduled for a week from Friday.

Her family is pulling together to get her a new iPad.

If anyone should see the backpack or any of the items, her grandmother is asking that they be dropped off at Children's Hospital or Oakland police.