Meet Harper: A 13-year-old who loves soccer, making Tik Tok videos, and being with her family. After experiencing sporadic vomiting and multiple visits to the doctor, Harper was diagnosed with group 4 medulloblastoma in July 2020. Harper underwent aggressive treatment comprised of surgery, proton therapy, and a Children’s Oncology Group protocol.
“After months of radiation and nine cycles of chemotherapy, I had clear scans and was ready to get back to my normal life. I went back to in-person school, started playing on not one but two different soccer teams, life felt normal.”
In April 2022, Harper’s family received devastating news. A routine MRI revealed the cancer had come back and this time, in seven new areas of Harper’s brain.
With the help of Brain Tumor Network’s navigator, Harper’s medical records and imaging scans were sent to multiple institutions for second opinions, and a personalized clinical trial search was performed. Her navigator also provided education and research to help Harper and her family best understand potential treatment options.
After Harper’s parents discussed the options with the care team, the family decided to pursue a clinical trial 600 miles from home. Her navigator helped expedite the trial screening and enrollment process for the family. Resources for family support and travel were provided, as well.
Harper was the first medulloblastoma patient enrolled in the phase 2 trial. Even through the long days of travel and uncomfortable procedures, Harper stayed positive, exuded bravery, and focused on her schoolwork.
Unfortunately, after being on the trial for over 6 months, Harper’s tumors showed progression. Her navigator completed another personalized, nationwide trial search. Harper has since enrolled in a clinical trial closer to home.
Harper’s motto, “The comeback is always stronger than the setback.“