Fundraiser honors Lowcountry child, aims to fight cancer

Harper Drolet (photos provided by MUSC)

By: Amy

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV){}-- On Sept. 30, 2011, 11-year-old Harper Drolet lost her battle with cancer. Drolet fought Rhabdomyosarcoma, a pediatric soft tissue cell cancer, for two years.

Drolet left a hole in many hearts but also left her strong spirit of "courage, strength and hope." In March 2001, as she was battling her own illness, Drolet was featured on abc news 4 due to her efforts to help other sick children. She launched a campaign{}to bring thousands of toys to other children at MUSC's Children's Hospital. Drolet said that when she was in the hospital, such gifts would make her feel better.

A tennis event this weekend will celebrate Drolet's spirit and raise money for pediatric cancer research through the Hugs for Harper endowment. The inaugural Hugs for Harper Tennis Tournament will take place at the Roy Barth Tennis Center on Kiawah Island.

Drolet's father, Jamie, appeared on Lowcountry Live on Tuesday. He noted that the Hugs for Harper endowment began from a promise he made to his daughter to embark on a mission to cure pediatric cancer.

"She was always sacrificing herself for others," he said. "There's a lot of people who know about Harper."

The tennis event is a USTA sanctioned and runs September 14-16 for both men and women. To participate, it costs $75 for the first event and $85 for two events. There is also a special dinner on Saturday night dinner for any non-players.

The goal of the Hugs for Harper endowment is raise enough money to be able to place a full time scientist at MUSC to focus specifically on pediatric research.

To register to play, call (843) 768-2838. To order tickets, call (843) 792-3321.