Harper Mae isn't your typical Disney super fan, she is an extraordinary and inspirational Disney super fan! She was born in 2016 with a form of Spina Bifida called Myeloschisis, meaning her spinal cord failed to close and the nerves were left exposed. Now Harper handles both her Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus diagnoses like a total pro, and she hasn't let any of this slow her down.
As a motivator for her to continue to walk and grow, her parents Fred and Erica Comparin, along with her big brother Kellan, decided to integrate her love of all things Disney directly in her therapy plan. They state in a post on their journey page Growing Up With Harper Mae, "Some of you may have noticed, we've been spending a lot of time at Disney. Some may think we are nuts and I would have to agree, but nuts for all the right reasons."
Erica stated exclusively to Just Disney, "We feel it's really important to share positivity and awareness about both medical conditions, and truly hope that Harper's can do personality and spunk are able to change some of the general perceptions that others have." Therapy in a controlled setting like a hospital can be quite boring for a little one who might not fully understand. "Harper is literally learning how to walk while constantly being motivated by cast members, attractions, costumes, park guests, and a whole bunch of other great things at Disney."
And we can't talk about Harper's strength without giving her brother credit for being one of her biggest cheerleaders and contributors to her happiness! Erica tells Just Disney the best way to describe Kellan is him being the "perfect partner in crime for Harper," and also states, "they share an incredibly special bond. He helps me make the walker props and helps his mom out when deciding what outfits Harper should wear. Lol, he's even asked if he could try to sew an outfit."
She credits him for not only supporting his sister by singing to her when she is undergoing treatments in the hospital, but also for encouraging her to push her boundaries. We think Kellan should be given a "medal of Yavin!" (For you non-Star Wars fans, that's a reference to the medal Leia gives Luke, Han Solo and at the end of 'Star Wars: A New Hope" for their heroic efforts and bravery.)
Speaking of costumes, the family doesn't hold back when it comes to using epic original designs for their trips. Harper Mae's walker has been converted to be part of her costumes including Bo Peep's sheep, an At-At, and even the Millenium Falcon complete with lights!
Fred recently shared some amazing exclusive photos, and told Just Disney about the process of building the Millenium Falcon for their visit to the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge opening day. "Yes, we were there for the opening and it was awesome! Some thought she was part of the Falcon setup lol. It took me about a week to crank out in the evenings. Challenging to imagine that initially on a walker."
Fred continued, "I wasn’t sure if it would still look good without the front mandibles but it worked out. The LEDs were a must and was a bonus to find one with a remote with colors."
Her parents hope that by documenting their journey on social media, they can help motivate others who may be struggling with the condition, and raise awareness for the condition. We know we can't wait to see what incredible Disney outfits and adventure this family comes up with next but we are sure you'll agree with us when we say seeing the love and joy, despite obstacles they've all faced in such a short amount of time, is truly inspiring. You can follow Harper and her amazing family on both their Earthly and intergalactic adventures on social media at:
Facebook: Growing Up With Harper Mae
YouTube: Everyday Harper Mae
Instagram: Growing Up With Harper Mae
Show Harper your support in the comments below (yes, her parents will see it), and come join us over on Just Disney for more amazing videos of her adventures!
(All photos and videos in this article used with permission.)