Sometimes things appear on our body that we might think time will make it go away. But the truth is, if you notice something out of the ordinary, it’s important to see a doctor about it sooner rather than later.
For one little girl, what started out as just a small bump on her cheek turned into something way more serious. Her name is Harper Stripe. She’s five years old and is from Iowa. Her parents are now sharing her story.
According to Fox59, the 5-year-old started her summer with a swollen cheek and her mother, Nicole Stribe, told WHO, “It had started one night out of the blue, and we thought it was a bug bite.” Doctors believed it was a viral infection at first.
But the bump got bigger and eventually started hurting Harper. Her parents knew that something was not right.
Nicole said, “As a parent, you don’t go to the cancer world, but unfortunately, that’s where it went.” The story gets more and more heartbreaking from there.
Fox59 notes that Harper turned out to have embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma of the cheek. This cancer most commonly affects soft tissue in children.
From that point, Harper started chemotherapy right away in Iowa City and underwent six weeks of radiation.
Her father told local news, “She obviously has a long road yet, but over the course of the last ten weeks, she’s proven that she’ll persevere through it all”.
It’s crazy to think how quickly the family’s life changed. It all happened overnight. They now take weekly trips to Iowa City and have a bin full of medication.
The Stripes want their story heard. For people to know that cancer can happen to anyone and more funding is needed in order to find a cure.
According to Fox59, in honour of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Harper’s parents said they want others to know about the different organizations that are researching the disease.