RARE Daily

Learning to Be Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

May 29, 2020

When Penny Howard’s daughter Harper died in 2016 from the rare neurodevelopmental condition CDKL5 deficiency disorder, Howard and her husband donated her brain and other tissue to research. The donation provided researchers with the first brain of someone who had CDKL5. Today, Harper’s cell lines live at the University of California, San Diego and are used to provide cells to researchers from around the world. Her brain tissue is at the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center. We spoke to Howard, founder and president of Hope4Harper, about her daughter’s life and death, the decision to donate her brain, and her journey to becoming an advocate for organ donation. 

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