Testing Limits

Marisha Hargrove (photo by Ruth Eckles)Marisha Hargrove (photo by Ruth Eckles)Despite living with stage 4 kidney cancer, MARISHA HARGROVE of Henderson, North Carolina, still sings in her church choir and takes care of her two children, Paris, age 9, and Carson, age 6.

 “I know my limits,” says the soft-spoken 28-year old. “If I need to rest, I rest.”

She also has the support of her family. In 2013, when she was diagnosed, her general practitioner told her she had six months to live. But her uncle, Steve Hargrove, told the doctors they weren’t interested in hearing about that.

“Our family has always pushed her to live,” he says.

At Duke, Hargrove is treated by Michael Harrison, MD, assistant professor of medicine. She had a procedure to cut off blood flow to the kidney that harbors the tumor, and she has taken several treatments that have shrunk the tumor.

“It’s been a great pleasure working with Dr. Harrison,” Hargrove says. “A treatment will work, and if it stops, he always has something else.”

When Hargrove was just a young child, her mother died of the same type of kidney cancer. Testing at Duke revealed that she has a genetic mutation that predisposes her to the disease. When her children reach age 15, she will have them tested for the mutation as well.

Read more of Hargrove's story. 

This feature originally appeared in the Spring 2018 issue of Breakthroughs, a magazine produced twice yearly by Duke Cancer Institute Office of Development. Subscribe to Breakthroughs.

Join the fight: You can help find the answers to defeating kidney cancer and other urologic cancers. To learn how to get involved or to make a gift, visit prostateurologiccenter.dukecancerinstitute.org


Circle photo (top): Photo of Marisha Hargrove and her daughters by Ruth Eckles