Durham girl’s t-shirt design raises money for cancer research

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Harper Harrell, 9, has been battling leukemia since October and is now cancer-free on her scans. She designed this T-shirt to raise money for cancer research.

Courtesy of Heather Hindin

This month Cancer took a $24,000 sock in the face thanks to a 9-year-old’s sketchbook.

As she battled leukemia, 9-year-old Harper Harrell drew a ring of hearts and flowers, surrounded by a peace symbol wrapped in orange ribbon.

‘Peace Out Cancer’ reads against a blue background.

His design quickly became a t-shirt, thanks to Custom Ink, and his family donated half of the proceeds from its sale to the Jimmy V Foundation, raising a whopping $24,000 for cancer research.

“Peace on cancer means goodbye cancer,” Harper said. “I’m very happy that people are contributing.”

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Harper Harrell, 9, from Durham, was diagnosed with leukemia in October and underwent chemotherapy to treat it. She designed a t-shirt that raised $24,000 for the Jimmy V Foundation.

“It is not easy”

The fourth year student from Durham has reason to celebrate. Since February, her scans have shown that she no longer has cancer.

But since his diagnosis in October, Harrell has undergone rounds of chemotherapy that will continue until 2024 as acute lymphoblastic leukemia tends to come back.

“It’s not easy,” she said in an interview Friday. “Treatment can be difficult. It makes you sick.. all kinds of things you never thought you would feel. Sometimes you can’t identify the pain or anything. Sometimes you really feel different. It just makes you feel a whole lot of different things.

His t-shirt campaign has already ended, but you can still buy it at www.customink.com/fundraising/brave-like-harper-september-2022.

Harper continues to document her progress with photos, showing her surrounded by friends wearing matching blue shirts, holding up peace signs.

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Harper Harrell, 9, has been battling leukemia since October and is now cancer-free on her scans. She designed this T-shirt to raise money for cancer research. Courtesy of Heather Hindin

For now, she is enjoying her quiet time, avidly reading the Amulet series. She hasn’t returned to school in person yet, but the goal is November and she has already proven her talent for achieving goals.

And as she continues her fight, she is surrounded by an army of close-knit supporters, all decked out in flowery shirts.

This story is part of our regular “On the Bright Side” column. Do you have a suggestion for a story that will make our readers smile? Email Josh Shaffer at [email protected]

This story was originally published August 22, 2022 11:23 a.m.

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Josh Shaffer is a general-assignment reporter on the lookout for “talkers,” which are stories you might discuss over a water cooler. He has worked for The News & Observer since 2004 and previously wrote a column about unusual people and places.

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