Valerie Harper’s family launches GoFundMe for her cancer treatment

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Harper, who shot to stardom in the early 1970s as Rhoda Morgenstern on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and later starred as that character in a spinoff, was first diagnosed with lung cancer in 2009.

In 2013, she was given three months to live after she was diagnosed with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a condition that occurs when cancer cells spread into the fluid-filled membrane surrounding the brain, known as the meninges.

“The disease I have is quite a rare cancer and it is located in a limited area — a very widespread area, but narrow,” Harper told CNN at the time. “So a lot can happen if the cancer starts getting really aggressive, pressing on parts of the brain and causing me to lose either my speech or my ability to think, etc.”

The 79-year-old actress has defied the odds and even participated in the reality competition show “Dancing With the Stars” in 2014.

But according to the announcement of the GoFundMe campaign by her assistant Deanna on Harper’s official Facebook page, the star is having a rough time of it.

“Many of Valerie Harper’s fans have asked how she is doing,” the announcement read. “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 needed immediately.”

“Health insurance and patient care costs are out of our hands,” the announcement went on to say. “This GoFundMe account has been established to ensure she receives the best care possible.”

As of Thursday morning the GoFundMe campaign, which is listed as being started by her husband Tony Cacciotti and set up by her assistant, had raised almost $48,000.

CNN has contacted Cacciotti for comment.

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