In his mind and in his heart, Taylor, an 18-year-old graduate from St.
Francis High is still a fullback and a catcher. To him, he is still a
5-9, 215-pound athlete who loves to put people on their backs on the
football and baseball field.
He had intended two play both sports and both positions at Glendale
Community College this year and had already been working out with the
football team throughout the spring and summer.
But on Aug. 29, Taylor was diagnosed with Leukemia AML. He has already
undergone one round of chemotherapy and at this point his platelet level
is up and his white cell count is down.
One thing that hasn't changed about Taylor is his positive outlook
about life and his feeling that he was chosen to face this challenge and
"I am a Christian and my belief is that God felt I had the strength to
handle this situation and he is guiding me through it," said Taylor from
his room at Kaiser Hospital in Los Angeles. "But it's going really good
right now. I havent been afraid the whole time and I'm just looking
forward to getting better and stronger. I should be out of the hospital
after next weekend and on the road to recovery.
"One good thing is that my hair didn't fall out during chemotherapy.
And the support I have gotten from family and friends from St. Francis
and Glendale College has been unbelievable."
As I was standing on the field after GCC's 13-7 win over College of
the Desert last Saturday, the sight of more than 70 players huddled
together in prayer was not uncommon. The fact that they were praying for
one of their own, Taylor, while wearing his No. 44 on their helmets was
"Be proud of your effort today in winning the game, but never forget
that we're playing for Stephan as well, and that should motivate you as
much as anything else," said Coach John Cicuto to his players after the
"We dedicated this season to him and he is one of us, whether or not
he is in uniform, because he is in the fight of his life and he needs our
help to get through this."
It started as a cold he couldn't kick. When it lasted a week and then