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Valerie Harper Starts GoFundMe for Medical Bills

TV's 'Rhoda' is battling cancer
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 18, 2019 12:02 PM CDT
In this June 7, 2016 file photo, Valerie Harper arrives at the ELLE Women in Comedy event, in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Rich Fury/Invision/AP, File)

(Newser) – In 2013, Valerie Harper announced she had terminal brain cancer and likely just months to live. Since then, the actress—best known for playing Rhoda Morgenstern on the Mary Tyler Moore Show and the ensuing Rhoda—has beat expectations (she even competed on Dancing With the Stars), while also facing struggles (she was sued over her diagnosis at one point, though she basically won that battle). The 79-year-old has also faced "unrelenting medical costs" related to the ongoing cancer fight. That's according to a GoFundMe campaign set up for Harper and her family by a friend. (CNN identifies the person running the campaign as Harper's assistant.) The campaign, which has so far raised more than $50,000, is authentic, Harper's husband Tony Cacciotti confirms to USA Today.

"Valerie has been grateful over the years for the medical breakthroughs along this difficult journey but insurance doesn't cover everything," the campaign description reads. "There are unrelenting medical costs on a continuous basis. 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." An update further explains, "We realize there are questions and appreciate those who understand the journey that life deals us. There comes a time when our careers are behind us and the unexpected is in front of us." (A GoFundMe campaign was once set up for a Gilligan's Island star.)

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