Also see: News story from Gwinnett Daily News 4/3/08 edition
Taylor Brooks is the daughter of two Georgia Tech graduates. Her father, Jeff, graduated in June of 1984 with a Bachelor of
Mechanical Engineering degree.
Her mother, Melissa, also graduated in June of 1984 with a Bachelor of Science in
Industrial Management degree.
Before July, 2007, Taylor was a normal teenager,
looking forward to starting as a freshman at Collins Hill High School in Suwanee, GA where she would be taking all honors
and gifted classes.
She is a first degree black belt in Tang Soo Do and enjoyed playing soccer and taking guitar lessons.
Taylor’s life changed radically in July of 2007.
We noticed that her stomach was swollen, and although she was dieting
and doing quite a bit of physical exercise, it was not going down.
We took her to her pediatrician for an examination and the doctor immediately sent us to Scottish Rite, a Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta hospital.
She was admitted and tests were begun.
The doctors discovered there were tumors in her stomach and did a biopsy of her lymph nodes.
On Friday, July 13, 2007, 6 days before her 14th birthday, we got the news that every parent dreads hearing.
Taylor had cancer.
Specifically, she has Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumor cancer.
This is a very rare type of cancer and is usually found in boys so it is very unusual for it to happen to a girl.
That same day, Taylor began her chemotherapy treatments.
Initially they had Taylor on a very aggressive treatment regimen.
She had treatments that went 5 days in a row, each day was approximately 6 hours of intense chemotherapy.
She did this every 3 weeks for 4 rounds – a total of 20 days of chemotherapy.
Each round played havoc with her blood and platelet counts, reducing them to dangerously low levels.
As a result, she received 5 blood and platelet transfusions in order to help boost her counts and restore them to a healthy level in
order to begin her next treatment.
These were made possible thanks to the generosity of those who donate blood.
Her subsequent treatments were planned by her doctor searching for documented cases and trying these regimens to see if they would deliver positive results.
Taylor worked to support her treatment hospital through fund raising and patient parties as well as acting a a poster child for a blood drive
during her treatment.
Sadly Taylor lost her battle with cancer and won a place in heaven just after 3AM on April 1, 2008 while her parents held her with her sister by her side.