MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Ovarian cancer is not one of the most talked about forms of cancer, but it is one of the most dangerous types.
The average age a woman is diagnosed with it is 63. That’s why Harlie Corneliusen’s story is so very rare. A few days after Halloween 2013, the 7-year-old Warroad, Minn. girl was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
The head of the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance said Corneliusen is not their typical demographic.
“It’s really rare,” executive director Kathleen Gavin said. “The incidence of ovarian cancer does increase as you get older, so there are a lot more older women.”
When Corneliusen came down with a stomach ache last fall, her mother assumed it was appendicitis.
“The doctor tells you it’s ovarian cancer,” Jayne Corneliusen said, “and it’s like, how is that even possible?”
As it turned out, Harlie Corneliusen’s pelvis was harboring a tumor larger than her doctor’s hand. She had a rare germ-sized form of the cancer. The large tumor and one ovary were removed and three rounds of chemo followed.
“I would’ve traded that with anything in the world … for me to go through that instead of her,” Jayne Corneliusen said.
Even though her plight is rare, so is her ovarian cancer prognosis. Doctors predict she has an 80 percent plus chance to beat it. The side effects will unfold later.
“She knows that possibility that she, may or may not be able to have children,” Jayne Corneliusen said.
Harlie Corneliusen says she wants to be a mom, but that’s not all. She’s hoping to gain notoriety for something outside the medical realm — she says she wants to be a pop star.
The Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance is having a walk September 6. Harlie will be a guest of honor. Also, the Interstate 35W bridge will be lit up teal on Sunday the color of ovarian cancer awareness.