When Taylor was just two-years-old, he was diagnosed with leukemia. During this difficult time, however, Taylor was referred to Make-A-Wish®
, and he soon had something to take his mind off of the cancer treatments and hospital stays.
Taylor and his family recall how his wish was "more than just a trip to Disney World." They were picked up in a limo from their home in Erie, PA, and when they got to the airport, the pilot of their flight gave Taylor a chance to sit in the cock pit before taking off. While in "the most magical place on earth," Taylor got to jump to the front of all the ride lines, meet all his favorite characters and stay at the Give Kids the World Village, a special resort for kids like Taylor.
Taylor's wish trip also included a chance to pet dolphins at SeaWorld and go to Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex, which was his favorite part. The Atlanta Braves and Cleveland Indians were there for spring training, and Taylor got to throw out the first pitch in one of their preseason games. This excited wish kid was thrilled to meet some of his favorite players. He still has the baseballs the players autographed to this day.
"It was good for my family," said Taylor. "We were able to get away and not have to worry about anything. [My wish] motivated me and put my mind in the right direction."
Taylor, now 19, and his family still take out the photo album to view photos from his wish and recall the wonderful memories they made when Taylor was invited to Toronto to film a national Make-A-Wish commerical. Taylor, who has been in remission for more than 10 years, is now a freshman at the University of South Carolina. During his high school years at St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland, OH, he was very active in sports. He played baseball and was a left wing forward for his school's hockey team, which is ranked #1 in the state of Ohio and recently won the Ohio High School State Hockey Championship. The Pittsburgh Penguins are his favorite professional hockey team. His hobbies include snowboarding and playing video games. If he doesn't play sports full-time once in college, he hopes to become a doctor so he can help others. Taylor's interest in becoming a doctor started when he was going through cancer treatments.
"Taylor was very hands-on with his treatments," said his mother, Mary. "He wouldn't look away and wanted to know what was going on. He was a good sport, and got to know his [medical] team very well."
"Dr." Taylor and his family are already giving back in many other ways. Taylor has helped out with radio announcements during the Make-A-Wish's Light Up A Child's Life® campaign in Erie and has participated in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. His family has also made very generous donations to Make-A-Wish to help make wishes come true for other special kids.