Dear Family and Friends,
I'm starting this page for my precious niece Harper. As you can imagine, this has been heartbreaking for our family. Although we can't change what is happening, please pray for the best outcome possible! Please read the email below from my sister Katie and consider helping them financially so it would be one less thing for them to worry about.
Wishing you much love, good health and a wonderful holiday.
Over this past week, we have been back and forth to CHOP and Will's Eye Institute several times after asking Harper's pediatrician about some strange things going on with Harper's eye last Thursday. She rushed us into to CHOP where they found a mass in her eye, along with blood which was making it almost impossible for the best ocular oncologists in the U.S. at both CHOP and Wills to decipher what it was. Harper has been poked, prodded, sedated, had an MRI, CT scan, and blood tests all in the last 5 days. After all of this and a couple of really terrifying waiting periods throughout, the doctors have diagnosed her with an eye cancer called retinoblastoma. It is the most common eye cancer among children, but, over all, is a rare cancer with only 200-300 kids being diagnosed per year in the US.
Through this testing, we found that it has not spread to her brain, lymph nodes, or bone marrow, thankfully. Unfortunately, our oncologosts were very clear about what they feel her treatment needs to be to ensure that it does not end up in any of those places. She has to have enucleation surgery to have her eye completely removed. While we are grateful that this hasn't spread anywhere that is dangerous at this time, we are devastated that she will completely lose her vision and her eye at such a young age. During and after the surgery, they will be able to tell us if the tumor had started to spread at all and if she will need chemotherapy or some other form of treatment to ensure that it does not spread to other area of her body.
Her surgery will be scheduled during the week before Christmas, but we are unsure of the exact day yet. In the meantime, Harper (other than when she is being poked and prodded) seems to have no clue what is going on and is, for the most part, her happy carefree self. She doesn't seem to be in an ounce of pain, thank God.
For those who have known what was going on and were praying for Harper, we thank you, and we ask that you all continue to keep our family in your prayers, intentions, and thoughts as we get her ready for this surgery and hope that it will be the only thing that we need to do to get her cancer free. We've already been through the ringer and I foresee these upcoming couple of weeks bringing us plenty of emotional, financial, and physical stress.
We are so overwhelmed by the love and support sent to us since her diagnosis and hope that you all know how much we appreciate it. We could never get through this without our village. It fills out hearts to the brim to know how much people love Harper. Thank you.
Katie, Jerry, and Harper
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