Embarking on a career of journalism can lead you in many directions. Having spent ten years as a freelancer for a broad variety of magazines, it seemed like I tossed an even wider net into the world to see what interesting thing might be snagged, hoping for a good story to surface. You find yourself delving into areas you never took the time to explore (or honestly didn’t even know existed), pick up random bits of knowledge, file away more than a few crazy experiences and meet some incredible people. Taylor Mayes and her family fall firmly in that category.
About this time last year, I learned that Ellen K of 103.5 KOST was starting a new program with Thrive Causemetics to bring makeovers to women facing health challenges. It bounced around in my head as I wondered if there might be a young mom among our readers who could benefit from such a fantastic offer.
As I clicked through my inbox, I paused on Kara Bautch’s email about raising awareness for Make-a-Wish OC/IE. We considered highlighting some of the kids who had just been gifted their wish “to be”. A Placentia five-year-old with lymphoblastic leukemia who wished to be a veterinarian, a thirteen-year-old from Westminster with Aplastic Anemia wished to be an Anaheim Duck. The third, a fifteen-year-old with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma wished to be a model. I looked at their glowing faces, lit up in bliss as they lived their wish in the name of a brighter future, and wished we had known about the teen model. We had a magazine, after all, we could have had her on the cover!
Like many others, learning about these kids made me want to do more. On a whim, I checked back in with Kara asking if any other kids had a similar wish. She mentioned a six-year-old fighting Ewings Sarcoma, but her wish was to be a singer and have a popstar experience. Ellen K and her radio show immediately popped to mind. A few introductions later, most involving, “Yes, absolutely, yes, we would love to’s!”, Taylor Mayes entered our world.
Taylor was a tiny little person with an amazingly big spirit. The impact this little girl has had on the entire staff of Parenting OC Magazine, and our readers, as well as many of the generous business owners in OC who joined forces to help Make-A-Wish OC/IE was deep and lasting. Many of us who were in the KOST Studio the morning she shared her CD with the world still get chills or tear up remembering her pure, little voice lilting, “I still have, a lot of fight left in meeee.”
It is our greatest pleasure to share that one year later, Taylor is in remission.
If there is anyone braver than Taylor, it would be her parents. Her mother opened up about the struggle they faced in page 36 “Power of a Wish”. It is an incredible lesson in perspective. If getting to know Taylor makes you want to do more, help her pay it forward by supporting her as a Virtual Walker in this year’s Walk for Wishes. Her goal is to raise $5,000 which would grant another sick OC child their Wish. Join Team Taylor at www.ocie.wish.org/taylor