“I actually really like not having hair,” Taylor says. “It’s so much easier to get ready and you can never get your hair pulled.”
Leave it to Taylor to find an upside to being diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.
Her parents, Lisa and Geoffrey, can tell you everything about the downside. Since her diagnosis, they’ve made treatment choices that could impact Taylor’s growth. Geoffrey has been a stay-at-home (or stay-at-hospital) dad. Lisa has fought to stay focused at work as she worries about one seriously ill child and her two healthy siblings. Taylor has endured week-on, week-off chemotherapy treatments; she’s been through surgery and radiation.
The medical professionals treating Taylor know all too well that, behind every child they treat, there’s an emotionally drained family depleted of hope. Fortunately, they also know that every community in the United States has people who know how to help.
That’s why they recommended that Lisa and Geoffrey connect with Make-A-Wish volunteers.
Saying Yes to Earning Happiness
It’s hard for parents to admit they can’t do it all themselves. Part of the job description of mom or dad is to be there for their children, no matter what. Lisa and Geoffrey hesitated because they didn’t want to be pitied. They felt embarrassed.
“Then I just had to look at the bigger picture, outside of myself and feelings about how I would be perceived,” Lisa says. “This was for Taylor. And if she could have an amazing experience out of connecting with the group, how could I deny her that. After everything she had gone through, who could say no to her earning a bit of happiness?”
Once Taylor’s parents said yes to a wish, it was in the hands of volunteers to discover her one true wish. Given her love of singing, that didn’t take long. Taylor wished to be a singer.
A Community Creates a Wish
With help from Parenting OC and the radio station KOST 103.5, volunteers began planning a wish experience that would put Taylor right into the life of a touring artist.
Together, they found people in the Orange County community to contribute their skills and time. They found Giselle, who makes human hair replacements. She was so moved by Taylor’s story that she sacrificed vacation time to prepare a wig for her wish. And Ana, a photographer for Parenting OC, completely rearranged her schedule to accommodate Taylor; she had to seize a moment when Taylor felt energetic enough for a photo shoot – that’s a challenge when her typical assignments take her to Rome, Sydney and other international locations.
Taylor’s volunteers also found a recording studio. There, Taylor would add her voice to her five favorite songs. Also, a local restaurant owner offered to host her album release party on Sunday, when the restaurant is usually closed; staff members even came in on their day off to participate.
The Difference You Make
The photographer, restaurant owner and many other people had never participated in a wish before helping Taylor. They took a journey from everyday person to wish granter, and their abilities and generosity made that journey possible. They learned that they can, in some way, do something to make the world better for kids in their community. They also found that granting her wish made their lives better.
Interested in granting wishes? Start here to change lives for kids in your community.