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Scotty plays without pain now

James Rada
Emmitsburg Dispatch

(9/20) Scotty Harbaugh was born with the cancer that would kill him when he was only 5 years old.

But maybe because his brain tumor would always be a part of his life, Scotty learned to deal with it as only a child can. He laughed. He played. He loved.

“Scott was very energetic up until the tumor started taking control,” said his mother Stephanie Harbaugh. “He loved to laugh and he would make you laugh.”

Scotty was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2004, but Harbaugh said the doctors believe he was born with it. His first seizure was when he was only 11 weeks old. The tumor was like a spider web across his brain and by age 2, it covered about 50 percent of his brain, according to Harbaugh. Scotty underwent chemotherapy treatments, but by age 4, the doctors discontinued it, admitting that the treatments were no longer helping.

“They said that the tumor had started growing down the side of his spinal cord,” Harbaugh said. “That when they told us he only had 6 months left.”

That was in February 2007. By April, Harbaugh began to notice changes in her son. He was sleeping more; so much that he was up for only an hour or two a day. He was eating less.

“For him not to eat, you know something’s wrong,” Harbaugh said.

Scotty’s condition continued to deteriorate. On the day he died, he breathing was labored and his heart raced.

“We couldn’t get him to wake up,” Harbaugh said.

Both Harbaugh and her husband, Shawn, realized that end was near and sat beside Scotty in his bed. He died around 7:45 p.m. with both of his parents sitting with him.

“He could only say a few words, but he liked to play and he was very uplifting,” Harbaugh said.

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