A nine-year-old cancer survivor from Hawaii and her mom take to Capitol Hill to fight for others

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- Harper Cude is full of life. On the surface she is your average nine-year-old girl from Hawaii. But Harper has had anything but an average path to get to where she is today. She is just 13 months in remission from rhabdomyosarcoma, an extremely rare cancer that affects mostly children.

Harper was diagnosed at the age of 7 with rhabdomyosarcoma. (Source: Gray DC)

“She went through 10 months of chemo. She had 28 days of radiation, five surgeries,” said Erin Cude, Harper’s mother.

She says she did not know a thing about pediatric cancer before they got the news.

“I’m really glad for the community that kind of stepped up and helped us,” said Cude.

Erin and Harper are in Washington this week now on a mission to help others. The real purpose of their trip to D.C. is convincing lawmakers on Capitol Hill to help knockout childhood cancer.

Erin’s sights are set on $30 million for the STAR Act, a bill that easily passed into law last year. It specifically funds childhood cancer research, expands efforts to catch childhood cancer early on, and works to improve the lives of childhood cancer survivors like Harper.

“(Lawmakers) are really supportive and willing to take action on that,” said Cude.

Cude met with staff from Senator Brian Schatz’ (D-HI) office. The senator says, “My staff had the chance to meet with Erin and Harper today, and I’m grateful to them for sharing their story with our team. For children like Harper to have the treatments and resources they need to beat cancer, we need to invest in childhood cancer research. We need to support children and families battling this disease. So initiatives and legislation that help families like the Cudes have my support in the Senate.”

For the Cudes, they say their fight will continue until childhood cancer is a thing of the past.

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