Harper spoke on Friday at the 2015 1st Annual GBM Heroes Recognition Gala, hosted by CURE magazine in San Antonio, Texas.
Harper was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2009 and terminal brain cancer (glioblastoma) back in 2013. "Listen, I was supposed to be dead in three months," she told attendees of the gala. "It's a toughie. It's three years this January that I have lived."
In her speech, Harper also thanked her caregiver, husband Tony Cacciotti. "I will burst into tears any minute because of what he's done for me."
The GBM event is described by the magazine as a way to express "gratitude and celebration for the heroes that have made differences in the lives of people with glioblastoma." Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive form of brain tumor.
Harper's advice: "The thing about being alive is being alive. All of us are going to die. Every single one of us. So while you're alive, be alive."