I am honored to tell you about a special young lady, Taylor, a 13-year-old diagnosed with [Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma-Mycosis Fungoides, which is] a skin cancer that is extremely rare in children.
As a young child, Taylor was diagnosed with multiple skin disorders. Nothing seemed to make them better. As the years went by, rashes changed to lesions and ultimately lesions turned to tumors and covered her body. Many young girls spend their birthday planning elaborate parties that involve friends and family. Taylor spent her last birthday receiving a confirmed diagnosis of skin cancer, and it’s incurable. For many, cancer is an internal battle. For Taylor, it is both. The cancerous tumors that cover her body not only affect her skin but they also affect her internally.
Taylor’s treatment has involved several doctor visits across the state of Georgia. She has also had several radiation treatments to her skin and is currently on several oral and topical medications. Taylor experiences constant skin irritation and becomes sick from the medication that she is taking yet she remains in the highest spirits. She is a cheerleader at her school and is totally AWESOME at it! She has encountered some teasing and has experienced stares from those who do not understand that she is constantly fighting for her life. Her dream is to make a documentary about her type of cancer so that she can educate those who do not understand and give hope to those who are with her in this fight.
School has been a challenge. Some of her medications can cause difficulties with learning. Because the family does not have a home computer and printer, Taylor has to use local libraries for computers to complete her homework assignments. It is often difficult for Taylor’s hard-working mother to transport her to and from the library due to work. A laptop and a printer would be GREATLY appreciated by this family and would help them out tremendously. She loves dressing in the latest fashions and accessories and loves music. Her mother has said that one of Taylor’s wishes is to have friends and family out for dinner at a local Japanese restaurant. She loves the fact that they cook the food in front of you!
Two of Taylor’s biggest supporters are her mother Teresa and Vanilla, her little Chihuahua. Teresa works several jobs to be able to support Taylor through her many treatments. Gas cards would be a lifesaver for this mom who is constantly on the go to save her daughter’s life. Vanilla waits patiently for Taylor to arrive home from school and is by her side every minute. Vanilla has truly shown Taylor unconditional love despite her disease process.
Taylor is truly a lover of life and family. She is not going to let cancer, no matter how tough and rare this disease is, stop her! Any help that could be given to this family would be appreciated.
Amber K. Morrell, R.N. The Children’s Hospital at Memorial
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