Before July, 2007, Taylor was a normal teenager, looking forward to starting as a freshman at high school where she would be taking all honors and gifted classes. She is a first degree black belt in Tang Soo Do and enjoyed playing soccer and taking guitar lessons.
Taylor's life changed radically in July of 2007. We noticed that her stomach was swollen, and although she was dieting and doing quite a bit of physical exercise, it was not going down. We took her to her pediatrician for an examination and the doctor immediately sent us to Scottish Rite, a Children's Healthcare of Atlanta hospital. She was admitted and tests were begun. The doctors discovered there were tumors in her stomach and did a biopsy of her lymph nodes. On Friday, July 13, 2007, 6 days before her 14th birthday, we got the news that every parent dreads hearing. Taylor had cancer. Specifically, she had Stage IV Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumor cancer.
This is a very rare type of cancer and is usually found in boys. That same day, Taylor began her chemotherapy treatments. Because her cancer is rare and funding for children's cancer research is limited, her treatments are planned by the doctor searching for documented cases and trying these regimens to see if they deliver positive results. Taylor relapsed in early 2008. Taylor lost her battle with cancer and won a place in heaven just after 3AM on April 1, 2008 while her parents held her with her sister by her side.
How did she serve?
- She went to school everyday she was not in treatment
- She kept statistics for the CHHS Girl’s Varsity Soccer team, acting as a team manager
- She was the poster child for Red Cross Blood Drive at Georgia Tech yielding 300 pints
- She volunteered as a score keeper at an International Karate Competition
- Organized a holiday party for the patients and parents at the AFLAC Cancer Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
- Organized fund raising to bridge the technology budget gap for the new AFLAC Cancer Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
How was she recognized?
- CHHS Chorus benefit concert for Relay for Life in Taylor’s name
- Gwinnett Daily article and “Man down” play by CHHS & MCHS girls
- Awarded “2008 Warriors Way” by Atlantic Pacific
- Tang Soo Do Organization Cut the Ribbon at the opening ceremony for the new AFLAC Cancer Center
- Standing room only at her memorial service