What an amazing journey the past seven years have been for me. In November, of 2001, I lost my beautiful daughter, Taylor, to leukemia. Taylor was only four years old. Never, as a parent, do you ever think about outliving your children. Yet, here I was, as a young mother, in that very situation. I was very blessed to have two more children, Tristyn, age 2, and Tessa, 11 months, to come home to. They were the only thing that got me out of bed in the months following Taylor’s death. They needed me, and that was such a blessing.
Taylor was diagnosed on December 13th, 2000. We were all busy with Christmas parties, shopping, not to mention the fact that I was eight months pregnant with Tessa. On that December day, everything came to a screeching halt. It was if our world completely stopped, but the outside world kept going. It truly was the strangest feeling. I remember looking outside of Taylor’s hospital room at the White Rock bike path, and all the people jogging, and riding their bikes thinking, what I would give to just be a “normal “person, out there jogging. Yet, here I was, tucked away in a hospital room helping my baby girl to fight for her life. It was surreal.
Taylor would spend the next 3 months hospitalized, and on December 30th, Tessa was born. Needless to say, we had our hands full. People constantly asked me, how are you doing this, how are you holding up?
I look back now, and honestly, don’t know how I did it. I truly just lived day by day, and put my faith in God. I couldn’t think of the what if’s… I had to focus on the only acceptable outcome, getting Taylor well.
Every day, we had lunch and dinner brought to us, sometimes even breakfast. Taylor had a pile of goodies that we often bribed her with to take her medicines! My dear girl friends even organized a golf tournament to raise money for us to hire a nanny to help with Tristyn and Tessa. We were allowed to put all our focus and energy on Taylor, and getting her well. I cherish that time I had to spend with her. We were blessed to have Taylor home and healthy from March-September of that year. While she was in isolation the majority of that time, allowing her immune system to recover from transplant, we were HOME! I will never forget bringing her home from the hospital. It was a beautiful Spring day, and as we pulled into the neighborhood, the trees were lined with big pink bows. I said, “Tay Tay, the pink bows are on these trees for YOU! Everyone put pink bows on their trees until Taylor came home.” Her eyes lit up in amazement. As we turned on to our street, it was lined with people cheering and clapping for Taylor. There were signs and posters in our yard, welcoming Taylor home. It was truly an unforgettable day for our family. Tristyn and Taylor chased each other around the house and laughed hysterically for hours. They were so happy to be together again.
In September of 2001, we got the devastating news that Taylor had relapsed. The doctors did everything they could, but ultimately, could not save her from the ravaging effects of this disease. Looking back on Taylor’s illness, we were so grateful for the support, both emotionally and financially that we received from others. That is why Heroes for Children exists today. Taylor’s Angels, which became Heroes for Children, grew out of the unselfish, giving, loving spirit that friends, family, neighbors, church members, and yes even complete strangers demonstrated to us during those eleven months. Thanks to these amazing people, and the beautiful spirits of Taylor and Allie Scott, HFC is able to help families across Texas, who have a child battling cancer. My hope is that these families will have some weight lifted off their shoulders, as I did, and be able to enjoy those precious moments with their child.
Hug your children, and cherish those precious moments together.