The family of popular actress Valerie Harper has reached out for financial help as the star battles with a rare complication of cancer that was obtained during her fight against the terrible disease.
The 79-year-old, known best for her role on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2009 and consequently contracted leptomeningeal carcinomatosis four years later.
Despite winning the fight against cancer, Harper was struck down with the rare condition that occurs when cancer cells spread into the fluid-filled membrane surrounding the brain. It is considered extremely rare, affecting just 5 per cent of people with cancer and is usually terminal.
Harper’s husband Tony Cacciotti and close friend Deanna have since established a GoFundMe page to help cover the continuous costs for medications and chemotherapy to help ease the financial pressures as she fights for her life.
“Valerie is currently taking a multitude of medications and chemotherapy drugs as well as going through extreme physical and painful challenges now with around the clock, 24/7 care immediately needed which is not covered by insurance.
“This is just part of the daily cost that is without a doubt a financial burden that could never be met alone.”
Deanna also left a personal message for those who have donated, explaining how difficult it is to carry on with life when you have been struck down by cancer.
“There comes a time when our careers are behind us and the unexpected is in front of us,” she wrote on the GoFundMe page. “I also personally know how the world stops when you are fighting cancer.
“The life you once knew is now different. Health insurance and patient care are out of our hands.
The caring friend added: “Thanks to everyone for your support and well wishes to Valerie.”
In a matter of days the GoFundMe page has reached over $45,000 in donations with many fans leaving loving comments of support for the star as she continues her battle.
“Valerie’s performances, and her interviews, have inspired me and made me laugh, cry, and appreciate life,” one person wrote. “I join her fight for life, and sending her and her family love and abundance.”
Another added: “I’m honored [sic] to contribute to this fund for incredible Valerie Harper! We’re of a similar age, and recall being so entranced by her unique talent! She’s a national treasure!”
While a third said: “I donated because she was a great actress and played strong characters that made me think I could things I was terrified to do. Great childhood memories.”