OLATHE, Kan. (WDAF) – Harper Claar, a 13-year-old Kansas girl who lost a leg to cancer, got to visit the hill named in her honor.
With some help from dad Aaron Claar, Harper took off, sledding down her namesake, now called Harper’s Hill.
The city of Olathe and nonprofit organization Elves of Christmas Present have been working since Christmas Eve to turn her dream into a reality.
Harper’s big smile and giggles show just how much she loves sledding.
“It like builds up speed as you go down,” Harper said. “Sometimes you spin and turn.”
Harper was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma bone cancer in 2018. After doctors amputated her leg, her family thought they were in the clear.
“This time last year, the fight had been pretty difficult because between chemo to radiation,” Aaron said. “The treatment is almost as harsh as the battle itself.”
Now, her cancer has metastasized to her lungs.
“My daughter is my hero,” Aaron said, “and everyone that we work with and talk to, they say the same thing about her.”
On Thursday, she was the hero of the hill.
Harper’s sister and fellow classmates from Olathe Virtual and Pioneer Trail tried out the hill, too. They approved.
But when the girls want to go sledding, dad can only last a couple of rounds of carrying Harper up the hill.
“Even walking that thing on your own, I’m huffing and puffing, but carrying weight is hard,” Aaron said.
The hope for Harper’s Hill is to one day install an electric pulley system that would take kids from the bottom of the hill back to the top.
“Olathe is about taking care of each other regardless of ability,” Olathe spokesman Cody Kennedy said, “and being able to ensure that children can enjoy a hill, a playground, or a trail.”