Minnesota 7 year-old battling ovarian cancer
Minneapolis, MN (CNN) - "How is that even possible?" That's what a mother says she asked herself when her 7 year-old daughter was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, most ovarian cancers develop after menopause, and its rare in women under the age of 40. Despite the rare battle she's facing, the seven-year-old is already planning for her life without cancer.
Harlie Corneliusen - Cancer Patient: "You pour it in here."
It took this upstate 7 year-old just a few minutes to make friends at this Edina park - and her story is rare.
Harlie Corneliusen: "This is real hair and it's chemo hair."
Children of course get cancer, but not often is it like this.
Harlie Corneliusen: “Ovarian...ovarian...Mom, what was it again?
Jayne Corneliusen – Mother: “Ovarian Cancer.”
Harlie Corneliusen: “Yeah.”
Kathleen Gavin, Executive Director, Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance: “This is really rare.”
The head of the state ovarian cancer alliance says this is not their typical demographic.
Kathleen Gavin: "The incidence of ovarian cancer does increase as you get older, so there are a lot more older women."
So when Harlie came down with a stomach ache last fall, her mother assumed it was appendicitis
Jayne Corneliusen: "The doctor tells you it's ovarian cancer and it's like, ‘How is that even possible?’ "
Turned out, Harlie's pelvis was harboring a tumor larger than her doctor's hand. She had a rare germ cell form of the cancer. One ovary was removed and three rounds of chemo followed.
Jayne Corneliusen: “I would've traded that with anything in the world, you know, for me to go through that instead of her."
Even though her plight is rare, so is her ovarian cancer prognosis. Doctors predict she has an 80% chance of beating it. The side effects will unfold later.
Jayne Corneliusen: "She knows there's that possibility that she may or may not be able to have children.”
And frankly, she doesn't seem to care. She says she wants to be a mom.
Reporter: "Boy or a girl?"
Harlie Corneliusen: "Boy and a girl."
That's not all she's looking forward to. She's hoping to gain notoriety for something outside of the medical realm.
Harlie Corneliusen: "Be a pop star I guess."
The Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance is holding a walk on September 6th and Harlie will be a guest of honor.