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My Story

Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most.

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Written by Harlan's Mommy:

“There’s a mass.” Three words we never imagined hearing, especially when referring to our energetic, bull of a child, 2 year old Harlan. 
Our lives dramatically changed on February 7, 2013. Harlan had already been in the hospital for 1 week and 1 day due to unexplained vomiting with no resolution. He had stopped walking independently and had lost almost 3 ½ pounds in 3 weeks. After having a new IV placed I noticed that Harlan’s right eye was “ticking” in a side to side manner. It was later explained to us that this behavior was called nystagmus. I asked Harlan’s daddy, Jonathan, if Harlan’s left eye was doing the same thing and he confirmed that it was. Immediately Jonathan began looking for our nurse. Within 10 minutes the head pediatrician was in Harlan’s room and ordering a stat CT scan. It wasn’t 30 minutes later we heard those gut wrenching words, “There’s a mass.” After a 3 hour MRI it was confirmed that Harlan had a plum size tumor in the posterior fossa/fourth ventricle of his brain. A external drain was placed the instant the MRI was complete. In the 5 days leading up to the day of Harlan’s surgery, 500mL of fluid was pulled off his brain. On February 13th Harlan underwent surgery to remove the tumor, dubbed the “beast.” We had been prepared for a potential 8 plus hour procedure and after only 3 hours it was confirmed that the tumor had been completely removed. The neurosurgeon warned us that Harlan was at risk of developing Posterior Fossa Syndrome. He said that Harlan had every variable indicating he could get the syndrome after surgery, but there was no way of knowing if he would actually or not. The first 48-72 hours post surgery were going to be the most crucial for Harlan. If Harlan did in fact develop the syndrome he may require a feeding tube, tracheotomy or other forms of assistance with motor skills. By the grace of God, Harlan recovered remarkably and to the astonishment of many doctors and nurses, was taken off the ventilator and woken from his drug induced sleep less than 24 hours after his surgery. Only 2 days after surgery Harlan was moved out of the PICU. On February 18th the pathology revealed that Harlan did in fact have cancer; grade 2 Ependymoma. 1 week post surgery Harlan was discharged from the hospital. On February 25th Harlan had his port placed and underwent a spinal tap. The spinal tap was negative for cancer cells being present in his spinal cord. This was a huge relief to all. It was recommended that Harlan undergo Proton Beam Radiation Therapy. On March 5th in Bloomington, Indiana, Harlan had a CT scan conducted to help map his future radiation treatments. Those treatments will begin on March 18th. Harlan will endure 33 treatments under sedation at Indiana University Proton Beam Center. After this 8 week session is completed we will all return home to Catawba, South Carolina. Harlan’s treatment protocol has been set that 1 month after the radiation he will began his 4 month realm of chemotherapy. 
Three words we never imagined, “There’s a mass” have forever changed our world. Despite all we’ve been through we still recognize our blessings, a little more now than we did before. 

Please use this website along with his facebook page to encourage Jacki and Jonathan through this difficult time. 

Donations may be made payable to:
Harlan The Hero

Arthur State Bank
Attn: Harlan The Hero
201 S. Herlong Ave.
Rock Hill, SC 29732


Ginny Hastings posted a new journal entry, "Update 4/18/14".

So Harlan made it through his infusion yesterday. There was no blood return so no labs were obtained, but that's ok because the infusion was not count dependent. Harlan's ... Read more

Cindy Cain signed Harlan's Guestbook.

Happy Easter to your family. May you enjoy the presence of God in your home while being surrounded by those whom you love most! Blessings, Cindy Read more

Ginny Hastings posted a new journal entry, "Update 4/16/14".

My baby is exhausted and so is his mommy and daddy. Last night Harlan only slept maybe a combined 2 hours...from 8pm to 6am. He tells us he's tired but his little eyes ... Read more

Ginny Hastings posted a new journal entry, "Update #2 4/15/14".

It's 7 o'clock and Harlan is still awake! Praise The Lord! Praying he goes to bed around 8, 9...and is able to sleep till morning. Tonight we noticed some weird blister ... Read more

Ginny Hastings posted a new journal entry, "Update 4/15/14".

For the past week Harlan has not been able to nap. He can not shut his body down. He wants to lay down but his eyes stay open like they are spring loaded. Starting Sunday ... Read more

Ginny Hastings posted a new journal entry, "Update 4/14/14".

Harlan had a really big weekend. Saturday was his amazing car show. For all that put it on, participated or came out to enjoy, thank you. We were unable to stay long ... Read more

Ginny Hastings posted a new journal entry, "Update 4/7/14".

Harlan's eating improved over the weekend. He started talking a little more and started interacting some. Starting on Friday he started complaining of headaches. Those ... Read more

Ginny Hastings posted a new journal entry, "Update 4/4/13".

Each day there's been a little more improvement with Harlan. Yesterday he started a new medication at clinic. He will get infusions every 3 weeks for a max of 12 weeks/4 ... Read more

Donna Britsch signed Harlan's Guestbook.

Soooooo in my prayers.....God has put a great role in Jacki and Jonathan's life. HE always has a plan. Think of all those who are praying and loving Harlan the Hero!!!!! ... Read more

Ginny Hastings posted a new journal entry, "Update 4/2/14".

So yesterday was a HUGE day! Harlan was allowed to come home from the hospital first and foremost. He's still not eating or drinking on his own, but we have him lined up ... Read more

Ginny Hastings posted a new journal entry, "Update #2 4/1/13".

Harlan started antibiotics last night after spiking a fever of 101.8. It is protocol to administer antibiotics because of having a port. Our room has been excessively hot ... Read more

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