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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.

Please feel free to sign the guest book!  We appreciate your prayers and support.

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 7/2/14".

We're hanging in there. Still trying to juggle meds, therapies and daily life. It's crazy. We've started trying to go for rides more often to help break Harlan's fear of ... Read more

Ginny Hastings posted a new journal entry, "Update 6/25/14".

Last night was tough! I was in major hawk mode- watching Harlan's every move all night. Around 5:30pm he fell asleep; early I know but a sign his body was trying to get ... Read more

Ginny Hastings posted a new journal entry, "Update #2 6/24/14".

Harlan is very uncomfortable right now. He obviously has a migraine of some sort. He's had the max meds I can possibly give him right now. He's currently rubbing his head ... Read more

Ginny Hastings posted a new journal entry, "Update 6/24/14".

Sweet boy had a very tough morning. His port access from yesterday came disconnected somehow and he had to go through another stressful port access this morning. Moments ... Read more

Ginny Hastings posted a new journal entry, "Update 6/23/14".

Harlan's radiation oncologist in Indiana still has to weigh in, but Harlan's home oncologist and neuro radiologist have made their call on this mornings MRI. Harlan is ... Read more

Ginny Hastings posted a new journal entry, "Update 6/20/14".

It's been a busy week for Harlan. There has been a lot of therapy- PT, OT and speech. Every day is hit or miss with what kind of mood Harlan is going to be in. For the ... Read more

Cindy signed Harlan's Guestbook.

You are such a good mom. Thank you for updating when you can. It sounds as though little Mr. Harlan is on an upward swing, praying it continues in that direction. ... Read more

Ginny Hastings posted a new journal entry, "Update 6/11/14".

Things have been super busy and hectic around here! Harlan is making little improvements everyday. Some days prove to be better than others. Physical Therapy, occupational ... Read more

Ginny Hastings posted a new journal entry, "Update 6/5/14".

I was delaying Harlan's update because I was fearful of jinxing anything. This post infusion has been the best post infusion Harlan has had thus far! No lie! Tuesday ... Read more

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