Councilman Jose Huizar

Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar listens during a council meeting in 2012. His youngest daughter, Aviana, has been diagnosed with leukemia. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times / March 16, 2012)

Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar confirmed Monday that his 3-year-old daughter, Aviana, has been diagnosed with leukemia and is being treated at Children's Hospital.

Huizar made the disclosure in response to queries about why he missed several meetings last week, including a key Sept. 23 discussion of a high-rise project proposed for Grand Avenue in downtown.

The little girl was "recently diagnosed,'' said Huizar spokesman Rick Coca. The councilman and his wife have spent days meeting with doctors at Children's Hospital and deciding on a treatment plan, Coca said.

The councilman and his wife, Richelle, have four children. Aviana is the youngest.

On his Facebook page, the councilman changed his cover photo to a shot of Aviana lying in her hospital bed. A few weeks earlier, he posted a photograph of the child on her first day of preschool.

"When you’re talking about children it hits hard,'' Coca said. "All he can ask for is everybody’s prayers for his little girl."

Huizar missed two council meetings last week but plans to return to work Tuesday, Coca said.

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catherine.saillant@latimes.com