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CARROLLTON, TX– The Howards are your traditional Texas family. They have a house, a dog, two kids and one on the way.

But life took a turn when their daughter Harper was diagnosed with a rare disorder when she was just a baby.

“CDKL5 Disorder.  Non-hereditary, life-threatening disorder,” Penny Howard said.

“And because it’s so rare, there’s not a whole lot of information out there on it,” Dustin Howard explained.

There are only about 600 people in the world with the disorder.

“The majority of them are battling seizures,” Penny said. “[She had] 40plus seizures per day.”

“Sometimes they were very mild, but most of the time, they were very violent. Her body would contract and she would scream very loudly, very painful for her,” Dustin said.

That is, until the Howards found something different.

“None of the medicines were working,” Dustin said.  “Then we saw the documentary on medical marijuana. We live in Texas, so that’s not an option.”

Marijuana might not be an option in Texas, but hemp oil is. It has little to no THC.

“Industrial hemp plant is an alternative to the marijuana plant,” Penny said.  “So we went from 40 plus seizures a day to less than 10 episodes per day, none of which are visible.”

Now this four-year-old’s personality is front and center, thanks to Hope 4 Harper and Harper’s Hemp provided by HempMedsPx

“And she has a little attitude too, just like a lot of kids do,” dad joked.

She can even pick her favorite color using a special eye-gaze device.

“Orange is the color she likes. She’s interacting with people. She’s smiling,”  mom said.

We’re smiling too, Harper.  Way to go!

For more information, visit

The CDK5L Run4Hope will be held Saturday, September 6, at Andy Brown Park – East, 260 E. Parkway Blvd., Coppell, TX 75019.