MINNEAPOLIS, MN (WCCO) – “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 it’s rare in women under the age of 40. Children of course get cancer, but not often is it like this.
The head of the state Ovarian Cancer Alliance says this is not their typical demographic. Kathleen Gavin, the Exec. Dir., said, “The incidence of ovarian cancer does increase as you get older so there are a lot older women.”
So when Harlie Corneliusen came down with a stomach ache last fall, her mother assumed it was appendicitis. “The doctor tells you it’s ovarian cancer and its like how is that even possible,” said Jayne Corneliusen.
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.
“I would’ve traded that with anything in the world, you know, for me to go through that instead of her,” said Jayne.
Even though her plight is rare, so is her ovarian cancer prognosis, doctors predict she has an 80 percent chance of beating it. The side effects will unfold later. “She knows there’s that possibility that she may or may not be able to have children,” said Jayne.
The Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance is holding a walk on September 6th and Harlie will be a guest of honor.