Al Taylor is organizing this fundraiser on behalf of Brad Taylor.
It was early on December 20th when my son called us with the news about my granddaughter. Lily, age 3, had gone to the hospital the night before with a fever of 105 degrees. She had been sick for weeks and in and out of doctors’ offices with no successful remedy. I knew that Brad (my son) and his wife, Peggy, were worried she might get a diagnosis of pneumonia and end up being admitted at the hospital. I can only image what it felt like to be in their shoes when the doctors sat them down and told them that Lily had leukemia. I know for me, the world stopped when I heard this news. I could hardly catch my breath thinking about all that would mean for them. I had lost my mother to this disease and so I knew exactly what kind of path they were on as the treatment plan unfolded. Making the phone call to my daughter to tell her that her precious niece had this illness was probably one of the hardest calls I had to make. As the day progressed, Brad and Peggy were inundated with medical facts and Lily immediately began chemotherapy. She had come in with very high white blood cell counts making her high risk and making what was already a devastating diagnosis even harder to take. By the end of the day, we had the only positive news the doctors had to offer. Lily had ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia), the more curable form of the disease. I couldn’t help but shake my head as we all waited for those results. The irony that I was praying for my granddaughter to be diagnosed with the exact same type of disease that my mother had died from was beyond comprehensible.
I spent 22 years of my life as a Police Officer for the City of Tempe and years before that serving in the military. Upon retiring from law enforcement, I can’t tell you how many boards or charity organizations that I have served on in an attempt to help those in need. I am the guy who solves problems! I am the kind of guy who takes action and makes things happen! But on December 20th, I felt like I became the most powerless man in the world. Let me tell you…that is not a feeling I wish on anyone. There is nothing I can do to save my son and his wife from the heartache they are experiencing. There is nothing I can do to take the pain away from my granddaughter as she fights for her life. But as the guy who is used to running into battle, I can’t sit on the sidelines and just watch. So, I’m doing everything I can to help ease my son and his wife’s burden as they become the champions of Lily’s life. I don’t know how much this will cost them in the end and I intend to pour every resource I have to in order to help them. But because I know that all of that may not be enough… I am appealing to all of you out there. If you have the ability to donate for Lily, we would be very grateful. Please share this with your family, friends and coworkers. And please, find a place for Lily in your prayers. She is my Super Girl, my Lily Sassafras, my beloved granddaughter. Anything you can do to help this little girl heal and get to live the life she deserves is so deeply appreciated by me and by my family.