Harlan's Heroes is dedicated to spread awareness and aid those affected by pediatric cancer, with an emphasis on recurring and terminal brain cancer. Our mission is to provide the entire family with help, hope, and care.
So much is available for patients and families at the time of "original" diagnosis; grants, gift cards, toys, etc. Unfortunately, when a patient relapses many foundations come up empty handed for the child and family. It was during Harlan's relapse battle that we experienced the "gap" in assistance.
Harlan's Heroes goal is to ease some of the burdens that only a select few know and understand that accompany relapse and terminal illness. It is our hope to enable these childhood heroes and their families so that they can create lasting memories without the worry of daily living concerns.
Harlan’s Heroes is 100% volunteer based. ALL funds raised benefit the children and families we serve.
TEAM HARLAN'S HEROES
co-founders, harlan's mommy & daddy
Jacki is a graduate of York Technical College with a degree in Dental Health Science and is a former Dental Assistant of 10 years. In January 2013, her job title changed to patient advocate and primary caretaker for Harlan during his nearly two year battle with Ependymoma; brain cancer.
Jonathan is a graduate of North America Institute of Aviation and a 14-year employee with the Air National Guard. In January 2013, he became the primary breadwinner, family rock and secondary caretaker for Harlan.
Never did they imagine that their roles in life would bring them to this point; co-founders of a 501(c)3 non-profit in honor of their precious son, Harlan John.
"Childhood cancer means an unnecessary struggle for an innocent child. A battle that should NEVER have to exist. Cancer means more than the cute bald heads. It means lifelong debilitating setbacks and in some cases premature death. Essentially a death that should and could be avoided with the proper advancements in medicine.
Harlan's Heroes was conceived just two weeks after the passing of our sweet Harlan. Often there is criticism for "never properly grieving." There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Harlan's Heroes is our way of redirecting our grief, and in the most powerful and meaningful way, we see possible. Harlan will forever be "the Hero," but it is our turn to be the "Heroes" for all the Harlan's who are waging wars against "the beast." Harlan's Heroes is an organization that stands firm for innocent children, for a fighting family and helps by advocating and being a monstrous voice.
To never be able to see, hear or touch the flesh of your child, again, is beyond gut-wrenching. Nothing will ever truly replace the Harlan size chunk that is missing from us. Being a part of a non-profit that allows families more time to be a family is priceless. It helps fill a void in our hearts that we never imagined was possible. We can not change our circumstances, but we can change our perspective." - Jacki and Jonathan; Harlan's Mommy & Daddy
board member, nina
Nina is a graduate of Carolinas College of Health Sciences with an associate degree in nursing. She works in a progressive neonatal unit as a neonatal nurse.
“My inspiration for nursing and passion for helping others was sparked by Harlan himself. Even during his battle with cancer, Harlan’s contagious smile and laughter would light up a room. He has taught me so much and has fueled my inspiration for helping others.
I have been volunteering with Harlan’s Heroes for a few years and was honored to become the secretary of such a great organization. Being a part of Harlan’s Heroes has been a very humbling experience. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to meet so many courageous kids and their families. I am proud to be a part of an organization that is centered around helping children and their families who are experiencing reoccurring and terminal brain cancer and bringing awareness to pediatric cancer.” -Nina
board member, ashley
Ashley is a graduate of CPCC with an associate degree in Computer Programming. She is a mom to three wonderful kids and is one of Harlan’s aunts.
“Harlan and my youngest daughter were born only six weeks apart. Jacki and I went through pregnancy together, compared stories, and were excited about our babies being so close in age. They were supposed to be kids together. They were supposed to play together. They were supposed to grow up together.
Childhood cancer stole those dreams and so much more from us. This is why I am dedicated to being involved with Harlan’s Heroes. I don’t want any other family to go through this awful journey that is childhood cancer. By being involved in helping these families, it helps to be able to put your grief into something positive. It is so rewarding to know that you have been able to help a family that is going through some of the worst times in their life.” - Ashley
board member, cortney
Cortney is a graduate of Winthrop University with a BA in Art. She was a Graphics Operator with Herff Jones, Graphic Designer with EmbroidMe and is currently a freelance Graphic Designer and full-time mommy.
"When Harlan was diagnosed in early 2013 with a malignant brain tumor, it made me realize how tragic of an issue childhood cancer is and how it can change the course of life in an instant. Having a child so close in age to Harlan at the time of his (Harlan's) diagnosis really hit home for me and put into perspective just how precious of a gift life is.
When asked to take on the role of marketing and graphic design(er) for Harlan's Heroes, I did not hesitate to say "yes." Harlan's Heroes has given me the opportunity to use my God-given talent of art and design to help spread awareness of childhood cancer. It has also allowed me to be involved with a wonderful group of people that share the same goal of helping families with children that have recurring brain cancer."- Cortney
board member, jenna
Jenna is a graduate of Winthrop University with a BS in Biology. She is a Clinical Research Associate with 10+ years specializing in coordinating and managing ophthalmology and otolaryngology clinic trails.
"To me, childhood cancer is an evil that we must all work to treat and hopefully cure. It can strike at any time, with any child, even our own. Childhood cancer robs our kids of their innocence, playfulness, and all too frequently, their lives. Childhood cancer is something so dangerous, and yet we are powerless to protect our children.
Harlan was an incredibly strong and brave little boy that was oh so sweet. My son used to play with him and pull him around in a tractor. Seeing that kind spirit taken away stirs up something inside you. There is something that you must do to help. I am honored to be a part of Harlan's Heroes. Every single person can make a difference towards childhood cancer, even if it means taking a present to the hospital to brighten some little one's day. Harlan's Heroes is doing that and so much more. Together, we can all do something to show that childhood cancer will not win.
Being involved with a non-profit means that we can truly give of ourselves. Since Harlan's Heroes is strictly voluntary, you know that every single person present wants to be there. Seeing so many awesome people get together to provide help and hope to these families is an amazing thing." - Jenna