Young cancer survivor shares her story

Twelve year old Taylor Tagatac has already faced major challenges in her young life. In remission for the second time from cancer, Taylor shared her story of inspiration and hope- and that’s what also makes her this year’s Kapiolani Children’s Miracle Network Champion.

 

At the age of five, in May 2008, Taylor was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, a cancer of the blood cells. She received chemotherapy and led as much of a normal life as she could. When the doctors said she was in remission, she and her family were overjoyed.

For two years, Taylor was back to her usual routine, but then, at eight-and-half years old, she relapsed. In May 2010, doctors told her she would need a bone marrow transplant. The news hid hard, as this type of treatment usually means a trip to the mainland.

 

In February 2011, Taylor became the first person in Hawaii to have this type bone marrow of treatment using a new protocol. Taylor’s dad, Frank, was the bone marrow donor. She went through a difficult procedure to harvest the bone marrow, but it allowed Taylor to receive the life-saving treatment she needed to survive. In February 2011, Taylor officially went in remission again.

 

Taylor was in and out of treatment for about seven years. She received multiple chemotherapy treatments, both for her initial leukemia and after the relapse. She had multiple admissions for fever and infections. Her bone marrow transplant was performed at Kapiolani Medical Center, as were all of her follow up visits. She developed significant Graft-versus-host disease after her transplant, and required many medications to combat this, for a long period of time. She received physical therapy, dietary counseling, occupational therapy.

 

Taylor is now 12 years old and loves playing the drums, riding horses, surfing, and cooking. Taylor just started seventh grade at Ewa Makai Middle school and plays the percussion in the school band.

 

Her entire family was instrumental in helping her recovery.

 

She officially takes her title on April 22. If you want to attend the ceremony it’s open to the public and it happens at 2:30 p.m.

 

Go to kapiolanigift.org to learn more about Taylor and the Kapiolani Children’s Miracle Network.

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